The club of the 20 most developed countries (G20) announced on Wednesday, during a virtual meeting chaired by Saudi Arabia, a six-month extension of the moratorium on the debt of the poorest countries, hard hit by the covid-19 pandemic. .
“The finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 agreed to extend the debt service suspension initiative of the most vulnerable countries for six months to support their fight against the covid-19 pandemic,” the group announced on Twitter.
Saudi Finance Minister Mohamed Al Jaadan confirmed that decision in a telematic press conference after the meeting.
The extension will be until June 30 next year and could be extended until the end of 2021 during the next meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the final statement indicated.
The 20 main world economies had promised in April the suspension during 2020 of the debt service of the poor countries, particularly affected by the health crisis.
The World Bank and international organizations had already called for the measure to be prolonged.
In addition, the G20 addressed the possibility of a restructuring of the debt of the poorest countries, a step that would go beyond the simple suspension of payments.
“We recognize that addressing debt beyond debt service suspension may be necessary in some cases,” the G20 commented, adding that it “agreed on the principle of a common framework” to manage that issue.
For his part, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin stressed on Wednesday night in Washington that “in a certain number of countries, debtors and creditors will have to work together quickly to restructure debt, in particular to unblock the indispensable financing of the IMF “.
The framework for this will be specified in another extraordinary meeting of the finance group before the G20 summit in November.
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