The Group of 20 nations said Wednesday it has 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 G20 announcement was made on Twitter during a meeting of the group’s Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.
The conferees "agreed to extend the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative by an additional 6 months to support the most vulnerable countries in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the tweet.
The suspension of more than $14 billion in debt payments had been due to expire at the end of the year. Wednesday’s decision gives developing nations until the end of June 2021 to focus spending on health and emergency stimulus programs rather than debt repayments.
“We still need to do more," Mohammed al-Jadaan, the finance minister for Saudi Arabia, this year’s chair of the G20, said at a news conference after the virtual meeting.
"We must ensure these nations are fully supported to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Al-Jadaan said there will be further discussions at next year’s spring meetings to decide whether the suspension should be extended further. He stressed that the pandemic has threatened the fiscal stability of many countries, particularly the poorest.