Washington DC - Saudi Arabia chaired an emergency virtual G20 meeting for Presidents and Prime Minsters as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the global economy. The leaders pledged to pump $5 trillion into the economy, cooperate on health efforts and address debt risks facing poor countries.
"World leaders are incredibly concerned about a crisis that is taking lives and could destroy our economy," shared Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert and Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. "It's unfortunate that G20 leaders did not commit to the IMF and World Bank calls to suspend debt payments for the world's poorest countries."
On Wednesday, the Fund and the World Bank urged G20 and wealthy countries to stop collecting debt from 76 developing countries. More than 65% of those who live in extreme poverty call these 76 countries home.
"We need the G20 to suspend debt payments. We need to see the IMF and World Bank also use debt payment moratoriums," said LeCompte. "A range of creditors need to provide debt relief for both developing and more developed countries. We need to improve our debt restructuring processes very quickly."