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IMF unveils crisis fund

THE IMF has revealed a new lending facility to assist "bystander" countries from being dragged into contagion during the financial crisis.

The International Monetary Fund announced the facility to aid countries with "relatively strong policies and fundamentals" but whose economies are endangered "during periods of heightened economic or market stress".

It allows a country with an actual or potential balance of payments problem to seek immediate aid that can be worth up to five times the value of the country's IMF quota, or permanent contribution, over six months.