Industrial Nations Consider Extending Debt Relief Over Virus

·2-min read

WASHINGTON: The Group of 20 nations, representing the worlds biggest economies, say they have agreed to extend the suspension of debt payments by an additional six months to support the most vulnerable countries in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The G-20 announcement was made on Twitter during a meeting of the groups finance ministers and central bank governors. The suspension of more than $14 billion in debt payments had been due to expire at the end of the year. Wednesdays decision gives developing nations until the end of June 2021 to focus spending on health are and emergency stimulus programs rather than debt repayments.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. APs earlier story is below:

The world’s major economies are considering a proposal to extend for six months a moratorium on debt payments by poor nations as a way to provide support during the worst global recession since the 1930s.

The issue is being discussed at a virtual meeting Wednesday of the Group of 20 major industrial countries, which includes traditional economic powers such as the United States, Japan and Germany and emerging economies such as China.

The virtual discussions are being held at the start of this week’s meetings of the 189-nation International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which are also being conducted virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mohammed al-Jaardan, the finance minister for Saudi Arabia, this year’s chair of the G-20, said the suspension of debt payments, due to expire by year’s end, should be extended into 2021.

World Bank President David Malpass has told reporters that he expects the extension will be for six months.

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