IMF seeks more funds in crisis as finance ministers meet

April 26th, 2009 - 12:46 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 25 (DPA) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank began their annual spring meetings Saturday in the midst of a deep global recession, seeking more funds and aid to help countries that can’t manage the economic crisis on their own.
The IMF, whose decision-making board was meeting Saturday, is hoping to win new pledges from countries for funds. Leaders at the Group of 20 (G20) summit in London promised $500 billion for the IMF’s lending resources, which would triple its existing budget.

The G20 summit also gave the IMF a beefed-up role as a financial watchdog in future. Finance ministers and central bank heads will be discussing a new “early warning system” being developed by the IMF to help avoid another financial crisis down the road.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he hoped finance ministers could make “substantial progress” towards the $500-billion mark. About two-thirds has been pledged to the IMF so far.

Geithner called on emerging countries to “demonstrate their growing role in the global economy” by loaning the IMF money.

Some developing countries including China and Brazil are in talks to make loans, but have reportedly sought a promise in return of a greater voice in the IMF and World Bank, which to date have been heavily dominated by the US and Europe.

The US and Europe have both said they are willing to reform the IMF’s voting structure to give emerging powers more clout, but a review is only set to be completed in January 2011.

“EU members remain committed to strengthening the effectiveness and legitimacy of the IMF by enhancing governance and ensuring that economic weights in the world economy are adequately reflected,” said Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Karousek, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency.

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