IMF seeks to double resources to $500 billion

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 03 2009 09:33 AM | Updated as of Feb 03 2009 06:29 PM

WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund said Monday it wants to double its lending resources for governments to $500 billion to boost confidence amid the global financial crisis.

The IMF has $250 billion currently available and Japan has pledged to lend it $100 billion, but more funds are needed, the multilateral institution said in an article on its website.

"The IMF aims to double the amount of money it has available to lend to governments to $500 billion to strengthen international confidence that it can meet any new challenges during the current global downturn, in case more countries are forced to turn to the 185-member institution to borrow," it said.

The online article said the executive board was expected to consider a number of suggestions for boosting the IMF's resources "shortly."

The IMF could consider issuing bonds to raise money, in what would be a first for the institution.

The IMF has committed a total of $47.9 billion in lending to a number of economies affected by the crisis, including Belarus, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Pakistan, Serbia, and Ukraine.