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G20 Suspends Poor Countries' Debt Payments for Another Six Months

November 23, 2020, 07.29 PM

JAKARTA, – The G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia agreed to extend the suspension of debt payments for another six months to June 2021 for countries eligible under the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), said Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati on Sunday.

The DSSI initially suspended debt service payments from May 1 2020 until the end of the year to boost the resiliency of poor countries hit by the pandemic.

Also readSri Mulyani: Indonesia Expected to Weather Out Coronavirus Pandemic in 2021

“The goal is for low-income countries to have sufficient fiscal space to handle the Covid-19 pandemic,” Sri Mulyani told a press conference after attending the G20 Riyadh Summit on November 22.

She said that the DSSI discussion was also supported by multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Sri Mulyani, who is the former World Bank managing director, said that the suspension of debt repayments had been agreed upon in 46 out of 77 DSSI-eligible countries.

Also readSaudi Arabia to Host Virtual G20 Summit in November

As of November 13, 2020, 46 countries have requested to benefit from the DSSI, amounting to an estimated $5.7 billion of 2020 debt service payments, the Leaders’ Declaration stated.

“This is important to support poor countries to free up funds so that they become more resilience to fight Covid-19 pandemic,” she added.

Besides, she said, the meeting also agreed to facilitate debt treatment not only for the Paris Club group of wealthy countries but also to nations outside the Paris Club.

“This was one of the most important things. On the first day of the meeting, the focus was on economic recovery and global economic conditions,” she said.

(Writer: Yohana Artha Uly | Editor: Erlangga Djumena)


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