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Switzerland agrees extra $825 million for IMF poverty fund

ZURICH, Sept 30 Switzerland has agreed an extra 800 million Swiss francs ($825 million) for the International Monetary Fund to support economic reforms in poorer countries.

The cash, which needs parliamentary approval, will be made available for the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), which provides loans to support economic growth in countries like Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

The money comes on top of the nearly 900 million francs already committed by Switzerland to the PRGT.

"The additional funding requirement is explained by the fact that the IMF increased the access of poorer countries to concession resources in July 2015, and the current commitments are already above the trust's envisaged average annual lending capacity," the Swiss State Secretariat for International Financial Matters said in a statement.

"The IMF anticipates a rise in funding needs due to the uncertain global economic situation," it added.

Separately, the cabinet also approved an extension in the maximum terms for monetary assistance for programmes to help countries facing systemic economic crises.

The timeframe could now be increased from seven years to 10 years, to reflect the complexity and long-term nature of support schemes like the IMF has provided to Greece and Ukraine.

($1 = 0.9710 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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