All members of the International Monetary Fund have access to the US$1 trillion in lending capacity. As of Thursday, 102 out of 189 IMF member countries had made requests for aid, and 50 of them will receive it by the end of April, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said following the virtual spring meetings.The World Bank plans to provide up to $160 billion in aid over the next 15 months.Emergency aid The IMF and World Bank have aggressively pushed out financing to help countries deal with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.Here is a summary of the financing available from the Washington-based development lenders:Regular lending capacity The IMF’s emergency aid capacity recently was doubled to $100 billion, available through two tools: the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) and the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). The RCF is interest-free and accessible to low-income members, while the RFI is accessible to all members, without the need to negotiate a traditional loan program.The funds “can be disbursed very quickly to assist member countries implement policies to address emergencies such as the coronavirus,” the IMF said.Disaster reliefThe IMF also uses its redesigned Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to provide grants for debt relief to the poorest and most vulnerable countries with outstanding obligations to the IMF to help address disasters, including public health disasters.This instrument was used to support Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone during the 2014 Ebola epidemic. The IMF board approved a six-month debt payment standstill for 25 countries eligible for CCRT funding, which potentially could be extended.Georgieva put out an urgent call for donations to boost resources of this fund, and she said Thursday the IMF has received commitments totaling $600 million from Britain, Japan, China, the Netherlands and Germany.Poverty reduction fundGeorgieva also has called for an additional $17 billion in donations to shore up the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), which provides concessional lending to low-income countries. She said the fund already has received commitments for 70 percent of this amount from Japan, Britain, France, Australia and Canada. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States is considering a possible contribution.Short term credit lineFor countries that are not eligible for concessional lending, the IMF on Wednesday approved a new Precautionary Liquidity Line (PLL) to help countries with “sound policies” deal with “adverse shocks” from the coronavirus.The countries that qualify can draw on the credit backstop for six months, one year or two years.Funding field projectsThe World Bank intends to roll out $160 billion over the next 15 months in countries like Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Haiti, Ecuador, India, Mongolia and Tajikistan to strengthen their medical resources to respond to the pandemic’s immediate health crisis and bolster economic recovery. The bank already has pushed out fast-track financing, with programs underway in 25 countries totaling $1.9 billion, and others moving forward in 40 countries amounting to $1.7 billion.The focus is on “fast, broad-based action, especially for the poorest countries,” the World Bank President David Malpass said Thursday. “By the end of April, we expect to have COVID-19-related projects in 100 countries, and we are taking steps to provide unprecedented financing to help countries respond to the crisis.”Topics :
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Wolf Administration Teams Up to Support Families in Need this Holiday Season December 07, 2016 Holidays, Press Release Harrisburg – Today, Governor Wolf and Lieutenant Governor Stack joined cabinet members for the 27th annual Holiday Wish Program gift drive in Harrisburg, which provides donated gifts to about 200 families and 100 seniors, a total of over 900 Pennsylvanians.“I am uniquely proud of the Holiday Wish program because it shows the dedication and generosity of our state employees and reflects the best values of Pennsylvania – concern for our neighbors, generosity freely given to those who need it, and care for those among us who are in need or vulnerable,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “We should all strive to lend a helping hand to our friends, neighbors, and fellow Pennsylvanians and the holiday season is a great time to start.”Cabinet members from the departments of Human Services, Aging, General Services, Transportation, and Labor and Industry as well as representatives from additional state agencies joined the National Guard to celebrate. Children from local child care providers were also in attendance and received a special visit from Santa Claus.Volunteer state employees and the Pennsylvania National Guard loaded wrapped gifts into military vehicles and delivered them to participating county assistance offices for distribution to the families and individuals.The families and older adults sponsored for the event were identified through case workers at county assistance offices, a senior citizen complex serving older adults in need, and a community action agency. They list a few gifts they would like to receive, and state employees then choose to sponsor a family or individual.“The holidays are really about giving more than receiving. The tremendous outpouring we’ve seen from employees around the commonwealth will make the holidays a little brighter for hundreds of Pennsylvania families,” Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas said. “I am proud to work with people who care this much and I want them to know that we all sincerely appreciate their efforts.”The Holiday Wish program was started in 1989 by a small group of employees from DHS, formerly known as the Department of Public Welfare. Over the years, it has grown to include hundreds of employees in several departments.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf
0Shares0000On target: Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring © AFP / Oliver GREENWOODLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 1 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said he was happy to give up the chance to claim a hat-trick on Sunday, preferring to see Arsenal strike partner Alexandre Lacazette convert a confidence-boosting penaltyArsenal defeated relegation-haunted Stoke 3-0 with Aubameyang scoring twice — a penalty and another from open play — with substitute Lacazette scoring the third, also from the spot a minute before time. Aubameyang revealed he passed up the opportunity to score a maiden Arsenal hat-trick — he had scored two for Borussia Dortmund this season before his January transfer — because he wanted to help Lacazette.The Frenchman had returned from injury for his first game since February 10 and accepted the gift gratefully.“I had scored twice already so I knew it would be good for his confidence,” Aubameyang explained.Some managers do not allow anybody other than the designated penalty-taker to have a go from 12 yards but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger made it clear he approved of the gesture.“That shows the state of our society — that when people are generous they are surprised,” he said.“Even more when it is footballers — and when it is strikers even more.“I wasn’t surprised because I know they have a good understanding. I like that because it can only make the team stronger. I think it’s great.”Meanwhile, Wenger’s opinion on Aubameyang’s new hairstyle remains unknown.– Hair’s to you –Hair’s to you: Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dedicates his latest hairstyle to his grandmother who passed away last week © AFP / Oliver GREENWOODThe Gabon forward had the name Marina etched on to the side of his head.“It is my grandmother’s name,” he said. “She passed away last week so this is my dedication to her.”The win did nothing to alter the Gunners’ position of sixth in the Premier League table, and they are now concentrating on the Europa League, with CSKA Moscow due at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday for a quarter-final first leg clash.But Stoke boss Paul Lambert was left fuming with the penalty decision on the first goal.A point would have been precious to second bottom Stoke and they were 15 minutes away from achieving just that when referee Craig Pawson awarded a penalty for Bruno Martins Indi’s challenge on Mesut Ozil.Lambert was convinced the penalty should not have been given as Martin Indi, although approaching from a position behind Ozil, had got enough on the ball.The Scot argued that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system — not yet used in the Premier League — would have seen the original decision overturned had it been in operation.“It was a game-changer because a couple of minutes earlier we had hit the post,” he said.“I know we have the benefit of replays and Craig doesn’t but for the big moments you have to be so precise.”VAR has courted plenty of controversy itself since trials began in the FA Cup earlier this season, but Lambert was a fan.“I’ve seen VAR work in Germany,” he said. “It worked seamlessly, absolutely no problem at all.“We bring it over here and it seems to be confusing but for this sort of incident? Absolutely. The referees need help for the big calls.”Wenger inevitably had a different view to Lambert, the Arsenal boss saying: “From the outside it looked a penalty. I don’t think that Ozil dived.”Stoke have managed just one win since Christmas and will have to conjure up some more points if they are to avoid relegation.Lambert remained bullish about their prospects however. “I’m 100 percent confident we will stay up,” he said. “I thought that when I came in and nothing has changed my mind.“I have won games here and come here and drawn and not played as well as that.“We never deserved a 3-0. The first goal was always going to be crucial. The one thing that’s missing from our game at the minute is Lady Luck.“I thought the players were brilliant. Performance-wise, I couldn’t have asked for more.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Salah did score Egypt’s first goal at a World Cup since 1990 with a penalty after he had been hauled down 17 minutes from time, but it was too late to regain the momentum for the disappointing Pharaohs.Russia will be guaranteed a place in the last 16 and Egypt eliminated unless Saudi Arabia beat Uruguay on Wednesday.Mohamed Salah’s penalty was too late to save Egypt © AFP / Paul ELLISSalah was making his first appearance since injuring his left shoulder when falling heavily after being dragged to the ground by Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final just over three weeks ago.Russia thrashed a poor Saudi Arabia team 5-0 in the tournament opener last week, but Egypt had been expected to pose a stiffer challenge.But after Fathi put into his own net, an inspired Cheryshev slotted in his third goal of the tournament, putting him equal with Cristiano Ronaldo in the top scorers’ chart.Dzyuba’s third goal sent the 65,000-capacity crowd into raptures.– Japan milestone –Japan made history in the early game, beating 10-man Colombia 2-1 to become the first Asian side to conquer a South American team at a World Cup.The complexion of the game was changed radically when Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez was shown the first red card of Russia 2018 for handball in the opening minutes of the contest.Shinji Kagawa scored from the penalty spot and although Juan Quintero equalised late in the first half, Japan made their superior numbers count, with Yuya Osako heading a winner in the 73rd minute.Japan’s build-up to Russia has been tumultuous after coach Vahid Halilhodzic was sacked in April and replaced by Akira Nishino, despite steering the team to the finals.Japan forward Yuya Osako (centre) celebrates after scoring the winning goal against Colombia © AFP / Mladen ANTONOVBut they will be delighted to start their Russian campaign with a victory after failing to notch a single win in Brazil four years ago — including a painful 4-1 defeat at the hands of Colombia.“I said at half-time that if we can keep the ball moving, we can deprive the Colombia players of their stamina,” said Nishino.“Our players were aggressive from the start and I think that worked very well for us. This is just one win and three points, so we will save our celebration.”– Senegal pip Poland –In the other Group H clash on Tuesday, Senegal recorded the first African win at this World Cup when they beat Poland 2-1, thanks to a deflected Thiago Cionek own goal and a terrible error by Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, which resulted in a goal for man-of-the-match Mbaye Niang.West Bromwich Albion midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak got Poland back in the game with an 86th-minute header but Senegal hung on at Moscow’s Spartak Stadium.In a match billed as a straight fight between Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mane, neither scored but Liverpool striker Mane set up Idrissa Gueye for the shot that took a wicked deflection off Cionek, leaving Szczesny totally wrong-footed in the Polish goal for Senegal’s opener on 37 minutes.Senegal coach Aliou Cisse said the whole of Africa was closely monitoring the progress of Senegal.“Senegal today represents the whole of the African continent,” he said.“Of course we represent our country but I can also guarantee that the whole of Africa is supporting us. I’m getting phone calls from everywhere.”burs-gj/nr0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Russia have all but sealed their place in the knockout rounds of the competition after winning their opening two group games. Photo/COURTESYSAINT PETERSBURG,Russian Federation, Jun 19 – Host nation Russia have one foot in the last 16 of the World Cup after a resounding 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday despite the return from injury of Mohamed Salah.After a tight first half in a rain-drenched Saint Petersburg, Egypt captain Ahmed Fathy scored an own goal before goals from Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba sealed a win that raises Russian hopes of defying pre-tournament expectations that they would struggle to qualify from their group.