World Bank chief calls for longer-term debt relief for poorest countries

World Bank chief calls for longer-term debt relief for poorest countries

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: World Bank President David Malpass attends the “1+6” Roundtable meeting at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World Bank Group President David Malpass on Thursday called for longer-term debt relief for the world’s 77 poorest countries, and said many would need a permanent and significant debt reduction to cope with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Malpass also told a United Nations conference that commercial creditors should participate in the Group of 20 debt relief initiative on comparable terms, and “not exploit the debt relief of others.”

He rejected calls for the World Bank and other multilateral development banks to freeze debt payments by the poorest countries, saying that would harm their ability to continue to provide funding to client countries.

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