Coronavirus: World Bank, IMF tell poor countries to suspend debt payment

The World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on all official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from the International Development Association (IDA) countries that request forbearance.

Coronavirus: World Bank, IMF tell poor countries to suspend debt payment

The move, according to the firms, is consistent with national laws of the creditor countries and is expected to take immediate effect.

The Bretton Wood institutions said this in a joint statement it made to creditors.

According to the statement, a request was made to the G20 concerning debt relief for the poorest countries in the world in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Ghana is a member of IDA and will, therefore, benefit from the directive.

The statement added that the coronavirus outbreak is likely to have severe economic and social consequences for IDA countries with about a quarter of the world’s population and two-thirds of the world’s population living in extreme poverty.

“We invite G20 leaders to task the WBG and the IMF to make these assessments, including identifying the countries with unsustainable debt situations and to prepare a proposal for comprehensive action by official bilateral creditors to address both the financing and debt relief needs of IDA countries," the statement said.

Adding that “We will seek endorsement for the proposal at the Development Committee during the Spring Meetings (April 16/17).”

The World Bank Group and the IMF believe it is imperative at this moment to provide a global sense of relief for developing countries as well as a strong signal to financial markets.

The international community would welcome G20 support for this Call to Action.

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