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G20 agrees to debt freeze for poorest countries amid pandemic

Repayments paused for one year as world’s largest economies reiterate pledge to deploy ‘all available policy tools’ to deal with crisis.

Source: G20 agrees to debt freeze for poorest countries amid pandemic


With the global economy plunged into the worst recession in a century, the Group of 20 nations on Wednesday announced a one-year debt standstill for the world’s poorest nations as they struggle to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The G20, which brings together the world’s largest economies, also reiterated the pledge to deploy “all available policy tools” to deal with the health and economic crisis caused by Covid-19.

With over two million cases and more than 120,000 fatalities worldwide, many of the less developed countries are facing the heaviest burden since they do not have the spending power to deal with treatment and the economic fallout caused by widespread lockdowns of their economies imposed to contain the virus.

The G20 finance ministers and central bankers endorsed “a time-bound suspension of debt service payments for the poorest countries,” and in the communique following their virtual meeting, said “all bilateral official creditors will participate in this initiative”.

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