According to The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in 2015, Japan spent 0.22 percent of its budget, about $9 billion, on development assistance. While developed countries spend an average of less than one percent of their budget on foreign aid, Japan’s generosity made it the fourth most generous nation of 2015.
A 2010 agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a Trustee of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), assures that Japan will lend $2.7 billion to secure a total of $8 billion gathered from other nations in new loan resources for low-income countries. The loan agreement was effective in April of 2017. This will allow the IMF to increase aid to low-income countries hit particularly hard in the current global economic crisis by providing more loans for recently reformed concessional lending facilities.
The PRGT has three facilities that work on the concessional financing framework. There are the Extended Credit Facility to provide flexible longer term support; the Standby Credit Facility to address short-term needs; and the Rapid Credit Facility to provide immediate emergency support. These facilities are in place to help countries with governments with low financial stability and a “protracted balance of payment problems.”
Additionally, a 2017 IMF press release reveals that Japan “agrees to provide additional $2.5 billion to International Monetary Fund’s Trust benefitting low-income member countries, bringing [its] total contribution to $5.2 billion.” This would be Japan’s fourth contribution to the PRGT. This makes Japan one of the first 10 countries to respond with an additional loan under the current campaign.
The money that countries like Japan lend ensures that receiving countries can be financed to fix struggling institutions. The loans enable rebuilding international reserves, stabilizing currency, paying for imports and overall economic growth. What makes the IMF different from other international lending or donating organizations is the fact that it does not lend money for specific projects.
Since 2005, the IMF’s goal has been to re-stabilize the world’s economy, which is in a a state of crisis unseen since the Great Depression. As a result, the IMF has created a flexible credit line for countries that show potential to put their economies back on track and implement strong policies to keep it that way. Countries like Japan can see a return on their investments while developing nations can continue to develop.
– Vicente Vera