SEOUL, March 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's finance minister has called on the International Monetary Fund to consider allocating the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), an international reserve asset, to provide global liquidity amid the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic.
Hong Nam-ki made his case in a video conference of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the governing body of the IMF, which was held Friday to discuss the unprecedented challenge posed by COVID-19.
The SDR is an international reserve asset that was created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries' official reserves.
The IMF said so far SDR 204.2 billion (US$281 billion) has been allocated to members, including SDR 182.6 billion given out in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a press briefing after the conference call that over 80 countries have placed requests for emergency financing.
The IMF executive board approved the first of those requests for the Kyrgyz Republic in a record first disbursement.
On Monday, Georgieva said the IMF stands ready to deploy all its $1 trillion lending capacity.
"Several low- and middle-income countries have asked the IMF to make an SDR allocation, as we did during the Global Financial Crisis, and we are exploring this option with our membership," Georgieva said Monday in a statement following a conference call of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors.
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