G20 agrees to temporarily freeze debt of poorest countries

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Wed, 15 Apr 2020 - 07:35 GMT

FILE - G20

FILE - G20

CAIRO – 15 April 2020: Group of 20 nations (G20) decided Wednesday to support the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) initiative to a temporary halt the world's poorest nations from debt service payments due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon this decision, the payment will due to be paid to G20 governments up to the end of 2020, with the aim to help countries deal with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, IMF agreed to exempt 25 countries from debt service payments, in support of efforts to control the impact of the "Covid-19" epidemic.

These countries are most vulnerable to debt and come under the IMF’s revised Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. The IMF’s relief package is a response to help poor countries on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Executive board approved the exemption of the poor and most vulnerable countries from the impact of the Corona virus from the Fund's debt payments over the next six months, it clarified in a statement.

IMF indicated that it will help these countries to pool their financial resources towards emergency medical efforts.

"The current measures include a debt forgiveness of $500 million, which includes $185 million in the commitment of the United Kingdom, and $100 million from Japan, in addition to other contributions from China and the Netherlands," the statement added.

The Fund invited the remaining creditors to participate in the exemption of poor countries from debt payments for a full two years.

The twenty-five countries include Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Biasu, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Sao Tome, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen

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