G20 Waits for Fall Meetings for Coronavirus Crisis Decisions

Washington DC - On Saturday, G20 Finance Ministers met virtually on the global health and economic impacts of the coronavirus. A communiqué issued by the Ministers pushed decisions on the crisis to later in the year.

"Decisions on further debt payment suspensions, permanent reductions of debt, trillions of dollars of needed aid and extending debt relief to more struggling countries will be left for meetings later this year," stated Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte who monitors the G20. "We had hoped the debt payment suspension for the world's poorest countries would be continued into 2021 given the severity of the crisis."

In April the G20 approved a plan for 73 developing countries to suspend debt payments to G20 countries. 42 countries applied for the program that offers debt relief until the end of 2020.

"The G20 Finance Ministers offered stronger language on private sector participation in debt relief initiatives for poor countries," said LeCompte who serves on United Nations finance expert groups. "This is important as some private sector creditors are resisting the debt relief process."

Jubilee USA organized a letter, signed by hundreds of organizations, to the G20 Finance Ministers ahead of their meeting calling for action in the face of the coronavirus crisis. The letter recommended expanded debt relief, more aid for developing countries, processes to curb tax evasion and corruption and enacting market and financial crisis protections. The letter was signed by more than 200 groups and included some of the largest religious, labor, human rights, development and environmental institutions.

In the Fall, the United Nations General Assembly meets. However the next round of decisions on coronavirus health and economic solutions most likely will take place at October IMF and World Bank meetings and November G20 meetings.

"The G20 wants to see more aid and financing options to consider from the IMF in the Fall. This is an allusion to accessing global reserve funds or what's known as the Special Drawing Rights," said LeCompte. "The Finance Ministers also emphasized again a strong commitment to moving forward global anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws."

Read the G20 Finance Minister Communiqué here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the G20 letter from hundreds of Religious, Labor, Human Rights, Environmental and Development Groups.

Read the Jubilee USA letter to the G20, IMF and White House signed by 213 groups.

Read Jubilee USA's March coronavirus response plan letter.

Read Jubilee USA Director Eric LeCompte's June 2nd address to the special session of the United Nations on coronavirus crisis solutions here.