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Suspend debt payments from poorest countries- IMF, World Bank to G20 countries

March 26, 2020

Due to the likely impact of the Coronavirus disease on the economy and its attendant social consequences for the International Development Associations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is asking creditor countries to suspend debt payments from IDA countries that request forbearance.

This, the two Britton -wood institutions, In a joint statement published on the IMF’S website, believe will help the IDA countries to with immediate liquidity needs to tackle challenges poses by the covid-19 virus and also afford breathing space for an assessment of the impact of the crisis and financial needs for each member countries.

“With immediate effect—and consistent with national laws of
the creditor countries—the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund
call on all official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from IDA
countries that request forbearance”, the statement read.

Worldwide view of Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic is causing havoc to countries the world over, killing several people and bringing some of the most robust economies to their knees.

Since the outbreak of the disease in December last year in Wuhan-China,
a total of 471,704 cases have been confirmed out of which 21,297 deaths have been
recorded, however 114,696 infected patients have recovered from the virus, as at
yesterday, March 25, 2020.

Ghana’s situations currently stand 98 confirmed cases, 4 deaths and one recovery, at the last update.

Conduct crisis impact assessment

The IMF and the World Bank (WBG) further invited the G20
countries to task them with the responsibility of making the assessment.

The assessment, according to the IMF and WBG will include
identifying countries with unsustainable debts situations and prepare a proposal
for a comprehensive action to be undertaken by the bilateral creditors to
address both the financing and debt relief needs of IDA countries.

The Britton wood institutions said they will be seeking endorsement
for the Proposal at the Development Committee during the Spring Meetings scheduled
for April 16–17, this year.

“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”, the statement added.

IDA countries

The IDA is an international financial institution which offers concessional loans and grants to the world’s poorest developing countries. It is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States.

It was established in 1960 to complement the existing
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development by lending to developing
countries which suffer from the lowest gross national income, from troubled
creditworthiness, or from the lowest per capita income.

The IDA countries are home to a quarter of the world’s population, having two-thirds of the world’s population languishing in extreme poverty.

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Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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