Ethiopia Secures Paris Club Debt Relief

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia, Chad, DR Congo and Pakistan became the latest countries to secure a moratorium on debt repayments from the Paris Club, the group of creditor nations said.

The decision was aimed at easing the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis in these four countries, the group added.

In mid-April, the G20 and the Paris Club, an informal group of state creditors coordinated by the French finance ministry, agreed to waive most debt payments for the world’s poorest countries in 2020, and free up cash to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Apart from Ethiopia, 11 countries secured agreement to receive debt relief under the deal. At least 30 countries requested to benefit.

“For these 12 countries, the total amount… thus deferred to date is around USD 1.1 billion, plus the deferment of pre-existing arrears,” said the Paris Club, according to AFP.

In all, Reuters reported 77 countries with a combined debt of $36 billion are eligible for the moratorium this year.

Loan payments not made this year are to spread out over three years beginning in 2022.

Virus lockdowns have put severe strains on government revenues, just as many nations need to step up health spending to combat the new disease.