Debt relief for Africa as coronavirus Covid-19 crisis intensifies
Stakeholders agree that debt relief for Africa is essential, but are mulling what form this might take.
The IMF is stepping up to the task of providing debt relief to free up fiscal space for Africa’s poorest countries to fight Covid-19, as finance ministers say a full waiver on all public and private sector debt is essential.
The appeal comes as the G20 leaders hold an emergency video summit on Thursday to discuss their response to the coronavirus.
Africa needs $100 billion of emergency additional resources to fight the coronavirus and is appealing to the IMF, World Bank and European Central Bank (ECB) to provide assistance to waive some $44 billion in debt service payments for 2020.
African finance ministers called on international donors to make available $100 billion of resources via a coordinated response to fight the virus in an open letter to heads of the three multilateral development banks (MDBs) after a virtual conference facilitated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
A more appropriate collective response led by G20 countries and international financial institutions would seek a temporary moratorium on debt service payments for all developing countries from all creditors - Senior executive, development bank
Appealing to the MDBs to lead the funding effort, ministers also asked for the immediate waiver of interest payments on all public sector debt, estimated at $44 billion for 2020.