Joint Statement by the World Bank Group and the IMF Call to Action on IDA Country Debt
March 25, 2020
Washington DC – The World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund issued the following joint statement to the G20 on debt relief for the poorest countries:
The coronavirus epidemic is likely to have serious economic and social consequences for
IDA Country, which is home to a quarter of the world’s population and two-thirds of the world’s population living in extreme poverty.
With immediate effect and in accordance with the national laws of 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. This will help meet the immediate liquidity needs of IDA countries to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus epidemic and will allow time for an assessment of the impact of the crisis and the financing needs for each country.
We call on G20 leaders to task the WBG and IMF with carrying out these assessments, including identifying countries with unsustainable debt, and preparing a proposal for comprehensive action by official bilateral creditors to meet the needs of financing and debt relief for IDA countries. We will seek the approval of the proposal at the development committee during the spring meetings (April 16 and 17).
The World Bank Group and the IMF believe it is imperative at this time to provide a sense of global relief to developing countries as well as a strong signal to financial markets. The international community would welcome the G20’s support for this call to action.