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Amid coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, IMF and World Bank call for suspension of debt payments by poorest nations

Zee News logo Zee News 2 days ago Zee News

As the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge worldwide, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday called on all the official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from the world's poorest countries, if requested, so they can battle the deadly virus.

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The World bank in a statement said, "The World Bank Group and the IMF believe it is imperative at this moment to provide a global sense of relief for developing countries as well as a strong signal to financial markets. The international community would welcome G20 support for this Call to Action."

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"The coronavirus outbreak is likely to have severe economic and social consequences for IDA countries, home to a quarter of the world’s population and two-thirds of the world’s population living in extreme poverty," it said.

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"With immediate effect—and consistent with national laws of the creditor countries—the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) call on all official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from IDA countries that request forbearance.

This will help with IDA countries’ immediate liquidity needs to tackle challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak and allow time for an assessment of the crisis impact and financing needs for each country," it further stated.

"We invite G20 leaders to task the WBG and the IMF to make these assessments, including identifying the countries with unsustainable debt situations and to prepare a proposal for comprehensive action by official bilateral creditors to address both the financing and debt relief needs of IDA countries. We will seek endorsement for the proposal at the Development Committee during the Spring Meetings (April 16/17)," he statement added.

The entire world is battling this deadly virus that has affected over three lakh people, including 19,793 fatal cases.

Follow the government's latest travel advice if you are planning a trip outside India or travelling back to India from affected areas. You can also read World Health Organization's advice on basic protective measures against the virus. WHO has also busted some myths surrounding coronavirus. The Ministry of Health's special helpline is available at +91-11-23978046 and ncov2019@gmail.com.

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