Washington DC – Zambia requested the G20 coronavirus debt relief process, the "Common Framework for Debt Treatment beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative." The process allows up to 73 of the world’s poorest countries to seek support under the mechanism.
“The pandemic is hitting the economies of poor countries pretty hard and many more countries will be requesting debt relief," noted Eric LeCompte who leads the religious development group Jubilee USA and advises the United Nations on debt issues. "Zambia needs serious debt relief. Before the pandemic, 60% of Zambians lived below the poverty line."
Zambia joins Chad and Ethiopia who already triggered the G20 debt reduction process. Zambia was the first African country to default on its debt since the COVID-19 crisis began.
Africa faces its first recession in 25 years as the region struggles with spreading infections and lack of access to vaccines.
“An important part of this debt reduction process is that countries need to ask the private sector to also provide debt relief,” said LeCompte. “As the G20 works out this process, it's essential that they compel the private sector to participate.”