Special Drawing Rights

Overview

The SDR is an international reserve asset created by the IMF to supplement the official reserves of its member countries.

The SDR is not a currency. It is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members. As such, SDRs can provide a country with liquidity.

A basket of currencies defines the SDR: the US dollar, Euro, Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen, and the British Pound.

What is the SDR?

Factsheet: Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. To date, a total of SDR 660.7 billion (equivalent to about US$943 billion) have been allocated. This includes the largest-ever allocation of about SDR 456 billion approved on August 2, 2021 (effective on August 23, 2021). This most recent allocation was to address the long-term global need for reserves, and help countries cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The value of the SDR is based on a basket of five currencies—the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen, and the British pound sterling.
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SDR Channeling

Since the onset of the pandemic, SDR channeling (and equivalent currency amounts)  has helped many countries in need, especially those eligible for financial support from the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST).

 

Since 2020, channeling of $46 billion is providing the PRGT with the capacity to mobilize $40 billion in interest-free loans to our poorest members through 2024. This financing helps support growth enhancing reforms in these countries. So far, these loans have benefited 56 countries and could benefit more in the years ahead.

Channeling has also supported the operations of the RST, which delivers affordable long-term financing to help vulnerable countries tackle long-term challenges including climate change. To date, 18 RST partners have channeled $41 billion to the RST, which is expected to contribute toward meeting an estimated $29 billion in affordable financing.

What's New

Nicaragua: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; and Staff Report
January 19, 2024

The Nicaraguan economy remained resilient through multiple shocks over the past five years, supported by appropriate policies, substantial pre-crisis buffers (primarily government deposits), and multilaterals support. After a strong rebound in 2021, the economy continued to grow at a steady pace in 2022 and through June 2023 (3.8 percent). Inflation slowed down, the fiscal position turned into a surplus, and record-high remittances, sustained Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and prudent policies supported a continued accumulation of gross international reserves. Banks remain well capitalized, and the loan portfolio is steadily improving with the economic recovery.

Albania: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release and Staff Report
January 12, 2024

The Albanian economy has emerged as one of the stronger performers in the region. The rising role of tourism has boosted confidence in the country’s prospects, a factor partly reflected in the steady appreciation of the lek. While growth is moderating, it is expected to remain robust at around 3½ and 3¼ percent, respectively, in 2023 and 2024. Inflation is gradually declining though it remains above the central bank’s target amid tight labor markets. Medium-term prospects, however, are constrained by structural challenges, including shortfalls in the rule of law and emigration pressures.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Fifth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement, Requests for Modification of Quantitative Performance Criteria, Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria, and Financing Assurances Review-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Democratic Republic of the Congo
December 20, 2023

Despite the continuing impact of the armed conflict in the East on the security and humanitarian situation, and approaching elections scheduled on December 20, 2023, the authorities remain committed to preserve program’s objectives, including by limiting macroeconomic slippages and continuing implementation of the economic reform program.

India: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for India
December 18, 2023

India is on track to be one of the fastest growing major economies in the world this year, underpinned by prudent macroeconomic policies. Nonetheless, the economy is facing global headwinds, including a global growth slowdown in an increasingly fragmented world.

Republic of Nauru: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Republic of Nauru
November 28, 2023

Nauru faces structural challenges due to its small size and remoteness, and is highly dependent on imports. The narrow revenue base comprises fishing license fees, residual phosphate processing, and revenue from the Regional Processing Center (RPC). Nauru is vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change, as the population inhabit in a narrow coastal area. The health and economic impact of the pandemic has been limited in Nauru, thanks to successful vaccination and containment strategies

Mexico: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release and Staff Report
November 1, 2023

A broad-based expansion is underway, with robust domestic demand. Inflation has started to recede, and prudent fiscal policy has kept public debt in check. The changes underway in the global economy—including a shift to a lower carbon economy and the reshaping of supply chains—provide an important opportunity for Mexico. However, a broad set of reforms will be needed to translate this opportunity into improved employment prospects and better living standards.

Nicaragua: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; and Staff Report
January 19, 2024

The Nicaraguan economy remained resilient through multiple shocks over the past five years, supported by appropriate policies, substantial pre-crisis buffers (primarily government deposits), and multilaterals support. After a strong rebound in 2021, the economy continued to grow at a steady pace in 2022 and through June 2023 (3.8 percent). Inflation slowed down, the fiscal position turned into a surplus, and record-high remittances, sustained Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and prudent policies supported a continued accumulation of gross international reserves. Banks remain well capitalized, and the loan portfolio is steadily improving with the economic recovery.

Albania: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release and Staff Report
January 12, 2024

The Albanian economy has emerged as one of the stronger performers in the region. The rising role of tourism has boosted confidence in the country’s prospects, a factor partly reflected in the steady appreciation of the lek. While growth is moderating, it is expected to remain robust at around 3½ and 3¼ percent, respectively, in 2023 and 2024. Inflation is gradually declining though it remains above the central bank’s target amid tight labor markets. Medium-term prospects, however, are constrained by structural challenges, including shortfalls in the rule of law and emigration pressures.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Fifth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement, Requests for Modification of Quantitative Performance Criteria, Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria, and Financing Assurances Review-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Democratic Republic of the Congo
December 20, 2023

Despite the continuing impact of the armed conflict in the East on the security and humanitarian situation, and approaching elections scheduled on December 20, 2023, the authorities remain committed to preserve program’s objectives, including by limiting macroeconomic slippages and continuing implementation of the economic reform program.

India: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for India
December 18, 2023

India is on track to be one of the fastest growing major economies in the world this year, underpinned by prudent macroeconomic policies. Nonetheless, the economy is facing global headwinds, including a global growth slowdown in an increasingly fragmented world.

Republic of Nauru: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Republic of Nauru
November 28, 2023

Nauru faces structural challenges due to its small size and remoteness, and is highly dependent on imports. The narrow revenue base comprises fishing license fees, residual phosphate processing, and revenue from the Regional Processing Center (RPC). Nauru is vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change, as the population inhabit in a narrow coastal area. The health and economic impact of the pandemic has been limited in Nauru, thanks to successful vaccination and containment strategies

Mexico: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release and Staff Report
November 1, 2023

A broad-based expansion is underway, with robust domestic demand. Inflation has started to recede, and prudent fiscal policy has kept public debt in check. The changes underway in the global economy—including a shift to a lower carbon economy and the reshaping of supply chains—provide an important opportunity for Mexico. However, a broad set of reforms will be needed to translate this opportunity into improved employment prospects and better living standards.

Tracker on the Use of Allocated SDRs

7 Things You Need to Know about the SDR

7 Things you need to know about the SDR
Let’s start from the beginning – What is an SDR? Is it money? Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) are an asset, though not money in the classic sense because they can’t be used to buy things. The value of an SDR is based on a basket of the world’s five leading currencies – the US dollar, euro, yuan, yen and the UK pound. The SDR is an accounting unit for IMF transactions with member countries – and a stable asset in countries’ international reserves.
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IMF

Q&A

Q. How many SDRs have been allocated so far?
The Fund has allocated a total of SDR 660.7 billion (equivalent to about US$935.7 billion), including four general allocations and a one-time special allocation. Specifically:
  • SDR 9.3 billion was allocated in yearly installments in 1970–72.
  • SDR 12.1 billion was allocated in yearly installments in 1979–81.
  • SDR 161.2 billion was allocated on August 28, 2009
  • A special one-time allocation of SDR 21.5 billion took effect on September 9, 2009 to correct for the fact that members that had joined the IMF after 1981 had never received an allocation (the Fourth Amendment special allocation)
  • SDR 456.5 billion (equivalent to about US$650 billion) was allocated on August 23, 2021, by far the largest allocation to date
  • In addition, new members to the Fund receive an SDR allocation upon their participation in the SDR Department
    Q&A