IMF ready to lend to countries during financial crisis; endorses G7 plan

WASHINGTON, October 11, 2008 (AFP) – The International Monetary Fund said Saturday it was ready to lend to countries in need of capital, as the 15 eurozone economies and Britain redied a Paris summit to seek a joint response to the global financial crisis.

“Using its emergency procedures, the Fund stands ready to quickly make available substantial resources to help member countries cover financing needs,” The IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) said in a statement.

The governing body called for “further intensive Fund engagement across the membership to discuss and develop robust policy responses to the crisis.”

The IMFC “strongly endorsed” a five-point action plan agreed by the Group of Seven (G7) major economies Friday that pledged cooperation, decisive action and the “use of all available tools to support systemically important financial institutions and prevent their failure.”

The IMFC statement came as the IMF and the World Bank hold annual meetings this weekend in Washington against a backdrop of the worst financial crisis since the 1930s Great Depression.

US President George W. Bush said Saturday the world’s richest economies were united on a “serious global response” to the financial meltdown.