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U.S. must support key financial aid for developing countries | READER COMMENTARY

In this June 17, 2020 file photo, residents stand in line to receive a free lunch from a "community pot," in the Nueva Esperanza neighborhood of Lima, Peru. The International Monetary Fund released an updated outlook in June forecasting a harsh recession for Latin America and the Caribbean for the remainder of the year. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)
In this June 17, 2020 file photo, residents stand in line to receive a free lunch from a "community pot," in the Nueva Esperanza neighborhood of Lima, Peru. The International Monetary Fund released an updated outlook in June forecasting a harsh recession for Latin America and the Caribbean for the remainder of the year. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File) (Rodrigo Abd/AP)

The article, “World Bank: Up to 150M could join extreme poor” (Oct. 8), correctly refers to the disaster facing many developing countries as they struggle to respond to the pandemic. The article also references the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) that could be made available through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were it not for the opposition of the United States government.

There can be no sufficient reason for the U.S. to oppose this source of international credit, which could be a lifeline for many countries and would come at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer. We urge Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen to cosponsor the "Support for Global Financial Institution Pandemic Response Act of 2020″ bill which would authorize release of SDRs by the IMF.

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The credit would provide developing nations with billions in resources to buy the food, medicine and more that they desperately need. In Africa alone, a failure to act is estimated to cost anywhere from 1.8 million to 5.7 million lives. Moreover, if other nations do not have the resources to control the virus, they will become hot spots from which it will come back to reinfect the U.S. and other advanced countries.

The United States has always been a leader in promoting global solutions to global problems. That’s why we are urging our senators to step up and support this bill, which will save lives all over the world.

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Margaret Trenkle, Catonsville

The writer is chair of the social justice ministry at St. Johns Roman Catholic Church in Columbia.

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