IMF Governors Formally Approve US$250 Billion General SDR
Press Release No. 09/283
August 13, 2009
The Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved
on August 7, 2009 a general allocation of
Rights (SDRs) equivalent to US$250 billion to provide liquidity to the
global economic system by supplementing Fund’s member countries’ foreign
The IMF Executive Board backed the general allocation on July 17, 2009 (see
Press Release No 09/264), following the commitment made by G20 leaders at
their April summit to boost global liquidity and welcomed by the International
Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC).
The equivalent of nearly US$100 billion of the general allocation will go to
emerging markets and developing countries, of which low-income countries will
receive over US$18 billion.
SDR allocation will be made on August 28, 2009 to IMF members that
are participants in the
Drawing Rights Department (currently all 186 members) in proportion to
their existing quotas in the Fund, which are based broadly on their relative
size in the global economy. The allocation will provide each participating
country with SDRs in amounts equivalent to approximately 74 percent of its
quota, and could increase Fund members’ total allocations to an amount
equivalent to about US$283 billion, from about US$33 billion (SDR 21.4 billion).
to the IMF Articles of Agreement providing for a special one-time allocation of
SDRs has now entered into force. The special allocation will be made to IMF
members on September 9, 2009, 30 days after the effective date of the Fourth
Amendment, and will raise the ratios of members' cumulative SDR allocations to
quota using a common benchmark ratio as described in the Amendment. The total of
SDRs created under the special allocation would amount to SDR 21.5 billion
(about US$33 billion).
The special allocation will make the allocation of SDRs more equitable and
correct for the fact that countries that joined the Fund after 1981—more than
one fifth of the current IMF membership—had never received an SDR allocation.
The Fourth Amendment, which was proposed in September 1997, required approval by
three fifths of the IMF membership with 85 percent of the total voting power.
This threshold has been reached following the recent approval by the United
Members’ holdings of newly allocated SDRs, will count, as of the date of each
of the general and special allocations, toward their reserve assets. Some
members may choose to sell part or all of their allocations to other members in
exchange for hard currency—for example, to meet balance of payments needs—while
other members may choose to buy more SDRs as a means of reallocating their
The special and general allocations will bring Fund members’ cumulative total
of SDR allocation to SDR 204 billion (about US$316 billion).
The general SDR allocation is a key example of a cooperative multilateral
response to the global crisis, offering significant support to the Fund's
members in this challenging period.