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S&Ds: Debt suspension for vulnerable countries endorsed by G20 Finance Ministers is a just and strategic step to reach SDGs

Date

13 Nov 2020

Sections

Euro & Finance

Following today’s meeting in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, among G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss possible debts treatments and supporting actions in favour of vulnerable countries in their fight against Covid-19, the S&D Group expresses their support. These are crucial to achieve SDGs, fight growing inequalities, and stop and reverse climate change.

S&D coordinator in the development committee, Udo Bullmann, said:

“We welcome that the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBGs) endorse the ‘Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI)’. This allows 73 eligible countries to suspend debt service payments to their G20/Paris Club official bilateral creditors until the end of 2020, and possibly beyond June 2021 if the economic and financial situation would require it.

“The EU and our member states have strategically contributed to frame the DSSI which made 5 billion US dollars immediately available to 46 countries for health, economic and social spending in the face of the pandemic.

“We have to continue this debate, and also take on further strategic measures. No one should be left behind is not merely a moral principle. We need a concrete strategy that, especially in the midst of the Covid-19 global pandemic, must entail short and long-term actions. The most vulnerable countries must be enabled to concentrate their efforts to fight against the current Covid-19 crisis and its health, social and economic impacts.

“We absolutely must stop debt crises coming back to haunt us every decade. In order to prevent future shocks, we must build resilient, just, and equal societies in developing countries.

“We cannot let them drown in debts and demand them to pay back every single cent as soon as possible. It is our obligation to support them in the fight against Covid-19, but also ensure that their socio-economic recovery is not endangered. 

“The crisis situation is heterogenic and requires practical solutions. If we do not act now, we jeopardise the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. This would also deprive vulnerable countries of the already scarce means to fight poverty and the lack of education, and the fight for decent jobs.

“As Europeans, we need strong partners with healthy economies and societies to reach our common goals.”

 

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