The IMF’s Top 10 Biggest Debtors You Need To Know

by Shamsul
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As of April 2, 2024, the IMF had an outstanding loan portfolio of $149 billion (112.9 billion Special Drawing Rights or SDRs), reflecting recent bailouts for struggling developing economies. The SDR value on this date was $1.321. Despite 94 countries owing the IMF money, the top 10 biggest debtors account for 68.8% of the total outstanding debt.

The IMF’s Top 10 Biggest Debtors

No country owes the Fund more money than Argentina, Egypt, and Ukraine

1- Argentina: The Biggest Debtors

Argentina owes the IMF $42.9 billion. The country’s long and troubled history with the IMF includes major bailouts and repayments. After repaying $88.3 billion in 2006, Argentina returned for a $50 billion bailout in 2018, the largest in IMF history, followed by another $44 billion loan in 2022. President Javier Milei’s ambitious reform agenda has been praised by the IMF, which approved a $4.7 billion loan for Argentina in February 2024.

2- Egypt: 2nd Largest Debtor

Egypt’s debt to the IMF stands at $14.9 billion. The 2011 revolution and falling Suez Canal revenues led to a $12 billion IMF deal in 2016, followed by loans of $2.72 billion and $5.2 billion in 2020 due to COVID-19. In December 2022, the IMF approved a $3 billion loan over 46 months. Additional support of up to $8 billion is contingent on Egypt allowing market-determined currency values and foreign currency availability.

3- Ukraine: 3rd Biggest Debtors

Ukraine owes nearly $12 billion to the IMF. After initial loans in 1998 and a $15.15 billion agreement in 2010, which was frozen in 2011, the IMF approved a $15.6 billion loan in 2023 to help Ukraine during Russia’s invasion. This is part of a $122 billion support package, marking a significant IMF financing effort for a country at war.

Other Biggest Debtors:


With $7.72 billion in outstanding debt, Pakistan received a $3 billion loan in July 2023. Additional IMF support seems likely, as indicated by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in March 2024.

5- Ecuador:

With $7.69 billion, Ecuador completed a $6.5 billion loan program in 2022 and requested discussions for a new program.

6- Colombia:

With $4.3 billion in debt, Colombia’s strong economic fundamentals are challenged by global tensions and supply chain issues.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s Debtors

Angola: IMF Credit Outstanding: $3.079 billion

Kenya: IMF Credit Outstanding: $2.566 billion

Ghana: IMF Credit Outstanding: $2.055 billion 

South Africa: IMF Credit Outstanding: $1.940 billion 

Four sub-Saharan African countries—Angola, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa, —complete the top 10 list. They received significant IMF support in 2020 to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. However, slowing economic growth in China, a key export partner poses risks to the region’s recovery.

The Impact of High Debt Levels

High public debt and rising interest rates have hampered the economic recovery of many low and middle-income countries post-COVID-19. According to the World Bank, external and publicly guaranteed debt payments for these countries increased by 5% in 2022, totaling $443.5 billion.

This analysis updates previous reports from September 6, 2022, and April 28, 2023, highlighting the evolving debt landscape among IMF member countries.

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