Following today’s announcement that G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors decided to extend the debt service suspension initiative for the world’s poorest countries until the end of June 2021, and agreed in principle a new Common Framework approach, the ONE Campaign highlights the crucial need to suspend debt payments until the end of 2021.
Dr David McNair, ONE’s Executive Director for Global Policy, said:
“The G20 took an important step today, but it didn’t go far enough.
“G20 governments have rolled out unprecedented measures to support their own economies and people in this crisis. They could have extended the debt service standstill until the end of 2021, helping the world’s poorest countries combat this global pandemic. They simply chose not to.
“This pandemic has laid bare a glaring and unjust double standard: the world’s wealthiest countries play by one set of rules and the world’s poorest by another. All eyes are now on the IMF and the World Bank to provide further help by offering a temporary debt standstill for the world’s poorest countries.”
Reflecting on the Common Framework Approach that has been agreed in principle, where G20 countries aim to engage with the private sector and explore a comprehensive restructuring process beyond the pandemic, Dr McNair said this would be a welcome first step but urged leaders to act fast.
Dr McNair continued: “Private creditors have done little to support the world’s poorest countries. G20 countries need to get them onboard to support the debt service standstill, but time is running out. “
“While securing a bilateral, multilateral and private debt service standstill now remains a priority for the world’s poorest countries, kickstarting a comprehensive debt restructuring process to address longer-term needs concurrently would be a wise decision.”