CEPR Spotlight: Special Drawing Rights

December 09, 2021

CEPR has played a leading role in educating policymakers and the general public on the importance of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and in organizing a successful campaign for a major allocation of SDRs by the International Monetary Fund. SDRs are an international reserve asset issued by the IMF to its 190 member countries that can be exchanged for hard currency by countries in need.

CEPR began pushing for trillions in SDRs back in mid-March 2020, when the global pandemic began, and has worked to build a coalition of over 240 organizations representing tens of millions of people to support the allocation of trillions in SDRs. Because the US has veto power at the IMF, the US position is crucial to securing the SDRs’ allocation. CEPR was consulted extensively by members of Congress and staff during the year-and-a-half-long campaign, which resulted in the US House of Representatives twice passing legislation mandating an issuance of 2 trillion SDRs (worth $2.8 trillion dollars). Although the Republicans blocked it in the Senate, as had the Trump administration, the Biden administration authorized a $650 billion issuance.

CEPR’s Andrés Arauz and Kevin Cashman have looked at how countries around the world are using the SDRs they received in August, first in a blog post published in August, and here and here in two follow up posts from November. Arauz also discussed how countries can best make use of the SDRs, and how more funds are needed, in a civil society event ahead of the IMF Annual Meetings. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva offered opening remarks, and thanked civil society organizations, saying that the campaign for the most recent SDR allocation would “not have succeeded without you.”

CEPR’s work on SDRs could not have happened without the support of our individual donors – we greatly appreciate the support.  If you haven’t already, please consider making a contribution to CEPR today so that we can continue to highlight the need for fair and just economic policy around the world.

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