G7 Mulls Extending Debt Moratorium For 73 Poor Countries To 2021

G7 Finance Ministers urged all official bilateral creditors to fully implement their G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) for low-income countries and agreed to consider additional options, including extending the initiative to 2021.

This followed a meeting by videoconference on Monday 17 August hosted by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, according to Reuters.

The meeting was also attended by the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, who also supported the call, given the economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic.

The world’s seven richest countries have noted some improvement in their economies but expressed concerns about the debt burdens of low-income countries.

In response to the effects of the health crisis, members of the G20, including China, and the Paris Club of Official Creditors adopted the Debt Service Suspension Initiative in April this year to suspend debt service for 73 poor countries until the end of the year. This is to free up about $12 billion in funds for the poorest countries to help them fight the pandemic and mitigate its economic impact.

As of 24 July, 41 countries had requested a suspension of debt service under this initiative.

(Ecofin Agency) – Borgia Kobri

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