The International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive board has approved the immediate debt relief for 25 countries to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) the 25 IMF member countries will receive about 500 million dollars in grant based debt relief, including a recent 185 million dollars pledge by the United Kingdom, 100 million dollars from Japan, and undisclosed amounts from China, the Netherlands and others.

The fund is pushing to raise the amount available to 1.4 billion dollars.

In a statement the IMF says the relief will be provided to the poorest and most vulnerable member countries.

Countries that will receive the debt service relief will include Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.

The IMF wants to allow these countries to focus more financial resources on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 1.8 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 115,242 have died, according to Reuters.