G20 Finance Officials Stop Short of Recommending Debt Freeze Extension
WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) – Finance officials from the Group of 20 countries on Saturday called for all official bilateral creditors to implement fully a short-term debt freeze for the world’s poorest countries, but stopped short of extending the initiative into next year.
Sources briefed on the G20 meeting said there was strong support for extending the standstill beyond the end of 2020, given the severity of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but the group’s final communique said only that the issue would be considered in the second half of 2020.
It also said nothing about growing calls for cancelling – not just deferring – the debts of some of the poorest countries.
The Debt Service Suspension Initiative, agreed by G20 ministers in April, has proven challenging to implement, with only 42 of 73 eligible countries expressing interest thus far, saving just $5.3 billion in service payments instead of the $12 billion initially promised. Read more…………..
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