Financial officials of the Group of 20 major economies said on Wednesday they had agreed on a coordinated approach for a suspension of debt service payments for the world’s poorest countries starting on May 1 until the end of the year, Reuters reported that.
The decision to suspend both principal repayments and interest payments affects all the International Development Association (IDA) countries that are currently on debt service to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and all least developed countries as defined by the United Nations that are currently on any debt service to the IMF and the World Bank.
The move is part of efforts to provide stimulus to the global economy amid the new coronavirus outbreak, which is pushing the global economy into the steepest downturn since the Great Depression.
“We agreed on a coordinated approach with a common term sheet providing the key features for this debt service suspension initiative, which is also agreed by the Paris Club,” the G20 said in a joint statement.
They also called on private creditors to participate in the initiative “on comparable terms.”
The IMF director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank David Malpass on Wednesday praised the new G20 debt relief agreement, which suspends bilateral debt service payments by poor countries.