Amid spread of Covid-19, IMF and World Bank signal debt relief for poor countries – YubaNet
Washington, DC, March 24, 2020 – On Monday, the heads of the IMF and World Bank declared their support for debt relief for very poor countries as the coronavirus spreads. African finance ministers have called for the suspension of debt payments to free up $44 billion to fight Covid-19. The Ecuadorian Congress has also asked its government to stop paying the debt.
“Countries must prioritize the fight against Covid-19 and billions can be freed up immediately by stopping debt payments,” said Eric LeCompte, who leads development group Jubilee USA and sits on the groups of United Nations debt experts. “Among lenders and borrowers alike, we are seeing growing calls to stop paying debt to save lives during the pandemic.”
At meetings of G20 finance and central bank ministers on Monday, World Bank President David Malpass urged world leaders to allow very poor countries to stop paying their debt. At the same meeting, IMF head Kristalina Georgieva noted the replenishment of funds from an IMF debt relief and aid facility that was used during the 2014 Ebola outbreak. which hit 3 African countries.
“IMF and World Bank calls for debt relief are essential to immediately strengthen health systems in developing countries,” LeCompte said. “In order to support all countries that need help and end a global financial crisis, we will need to expand debt relief efforts, raise aid funds and advance agreements that can stabilize the world. ‘economy.” Leaders of LeCompte’s organization, Jubilee USA, sent a letter to the head of the International Monetary Fund on Monday to take action to stop the negative economic impacts of the Covid-19 virus.
The letter urges increased debt relief and aid to bolster health care for developing countries affected by the coronavirus. Additional recommendations from the letter include moratoriums on debt payment, better debt restructuring, encouraging public budget approval processes for countries, and increasing revenue by fighting corruption, l tax evasion and tax evasion.
Read Jubilee USA’s letter to the IMF on COVID-19 here
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 American organizations and 700 faith communities working with 50 global Jubilee partners. Jubilee USA is building an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA wins critical global financial reforms and secures over $130 billion in debt relief for the world’s poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org