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UN chief calls for debt relief for world’s poorest countries

UN head Antonio Guterres has called for debt relief to be offered to poorer nations as they grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Many developing and even middle-income countries are highly vulnerable and already in debt distress – or will soon become so, due to the global recession,” Mr Guterres told a UN meeting.

“Getting through Covid-19 and recovering better will cost money. But, the alternative will cost far more,” he added.

It comes as members of the Group of 20 (G20) offered last month to suspend bilateral debt payments to 77 of the world’s poorest countries for the remainder of the year.

World Bank President David Malpass told the meeting that about half of the eligible countries have accepted the offer, but longer-term debt relief was needed.



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