IMF Special Drawing Rights Are Critical to Containing the Pandemic and Boosting the World Economy

The World Economy Needs a Stimulus

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IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has asked G20 governments for their backing to “boost global liquidity through a sizable SDR allocation, as we successfully did during the 2009 global crisis.”1 African and European heads of state have called on the IMF to “decide immediately on the allocation of special drawing rights.”2 Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers recently wrote that “if ever there was a moment for an expansion of the international money known as Special Drawing Rights, it is now.”3


Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, are not well known to the general public, but economists and development experts believe they could provide crucial support to countries facing economic and public health crises caused by COVID-19. In this policy brief we explain how SDRs work and how they should play a vital role in containing the global COVID-19 pandemic and stabilizing the world economy. We also look at the benefits of SDRs for the United States and address counter-arguments.



A report by CEPR and Oxfam America
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