Pakistan among four countries to secure Paris Club COVID-19 debt moratorium

Photo: File

PARIS: Pakistan on Wednesday became  the latest countries to secure a moratorium on debt repayments from the Paris Club, the group of creditor nations said, in an effort to ease the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The other three countries are Ethiopia, Chad and DR Congo.

In mid-April, the G20 and the Paris Club agreed to waive most debt payments for the world´s poorest countries in 2020, as sweeping virus lockdowns upturned the global economy.

Since then, 30 eligible countries have officially asked for a moratorium, the group said. The new agreements announced Tuesday mean a dozen nations have now agreed on such a measure.

“For these 12 countries, the total amount… thus deferred to date is around USD 1.1 billion, plus the deferment of pre-existing arrears,” said the Paris Club.

The group was founded in 1956 and is made up of major industrialised nations that provide bilateral loans.

In all, 77 countries with a combined debt of $36 billion are eligible for the moratorium this year.

Loan payments not made this year are to spread out over three years beginning in 2022.

Virus lockdowns have put severe strains on government revenues, just as many nations need to step up health spending to combat the new disease.

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