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In 2021, the IMF issued and distributed $650bn worth of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study explores the unique characteristics of SDRs and provides an overview of the role of SDRs in the MENA region.

Using four countries as case studies (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Tunisia), it analyses how SDRs can be transferred from central banks to governments for fiscal use; outlines how the 2021 SDR allocations have been used; and explores priority avenues for fiscal spending aiming at sustainable and inclusive economic recovery that contributes to reducing inequality and avoiding further austerity in the MENA region.





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