Official statements (by IFIs, multilateral forums, governments or officials)

DateTitle (linked)Institution / AuthorComments / Related issues
15 April 2020Communiqué – G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting 15 April 2020G20G20 announcement on suspension of debt service payments
13 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves Immediate Debt Relief for 25IMFExecutive Board approved immediate debt service relief to 25 of the IMF’s member countries under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) … This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months
12 April 2020Coronavirus: Pope Francis calls for debt relief and end to sanctionsEuronewsSee also Duncan Green’s “The Pope just backed a Universal Basic Income and a lot of other stuff
9 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves Proposals to Enhance the Fund’s Emergency Financing Toolkit to US$100 BillionIMF“As we are responding to this unprecedented number of calls for emergency financing—from over 90 countries so far—doubling access to our emergency facilities will help us to meet the expected demand of about US$100 billion in financing and provide stronger support to our member countries in addressing the COVID-19 crisis”
Enhancing the Emergency Financing Toolkit—Responding To The COVID-19 Pandemic
Streamlining Procedures for Board Consideration of The Fund’s Emergency Financing During Exceptional Circumstances Involving A Pandemic
7 April 2020Debt relief for the poorest countries critical in fight against COVID-19UNICEFstatement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore
2 April 2020World Bank Group Launches First Operations for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Emergency Health Support, Strengthening Developing Country ResponsesWorld BankWorld Bank Group’s Operational Response to COVID-19 (coronavirus) – Projects List “The first group of projects, amounting to $1.9 billion, will assist 25 countries, and new operations are moving forward in over 40 countries using the fast-track process.”
2 April 2020Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust : Policy Proposals and Funding StrategyIMF
1 April 2020Transcript of Background Briefing Conference Call on IMF Resources and the Fund’s Strategy to Help Countries Combat COVID-19IMF
30 March 2020UN calls for $2.5 trillion coronavirus crisis package for developing countriesUNCTADThe package includes $1 trillion should be made available through the expanded use of special drawing rights $1 trillion of debts owed by developing countries should be cancelled this year $500 billion needed to fund a Marshall Plan for health recovery and dispersed as grants Based on the report: The Covid-19 Shock to Developing Countries: Towards a “whatever it takes” programme for the two-thirds of the world’s population being left behind
26 March 2020Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit Statement on COVID-19G20 We will continue to address risks of debt vulnerabilities in low-income countries due to the pandemic
25 March 2020Joint Statement from the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund Regarding A Call to Action on the Debt of IDA CountriesIMF and World Bank GroupCall on all official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from IDA countries that request forbearance
24 March 2020Letter from the Secretary-General to G-20 MembersUN Secretary GeneralDebt restructuring must also become a priority — including immediate waivers on interest payments for 2020. Financial support to the IMF CCRT is another critical venue to help the poorest countries with immediate debt relief
23 March 2020Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass on G20 Finance Ministers Conference Call on COVID-19David Malpass, WBG president– urge all official bilateral creditors to act with immediate effect to help IDA countries through debt relief  – Countries will need to implement structural reforms
23 March 2020African Finance Ministers call for coordinated COVID-19 response to mitigate adverse impact on economies and societyUNECAAfrican finance ministers request: –  immediate emergency economic stimulus to the tune of US$100 billion. – waiver of all interest payments to public creditors and sovereign bonds, estimated at US$44 billion for 2020, & possible extension to medium term, – Interest and principal waiver for fragile states. 
20 March 2020“An immediate human rights response to counter the COVID-19 and the global recession ahead is an urgent priority”Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rightsFocusing also on household debt

Official analysis and resources  (by IFIs, multilateral forums, governments or officials)

DateTitle (linked)Institution / AuthorComments / Related issues
23 April 2020From the Great Lockdown
to the Great Meltdown:
Developing Country Debt
in the Time of Covid-19
UNCTADOf utmost importance, in responding to both the Covid-19 shock to developing country sovereign
external debt positions as well as to the fragility of such positions even prior to the Covid-19 shock is
coordinated debtor country action to pro-actively shape future international agendas and agreements on developing country debt relief and restructurings. These have long failed to address the need for comprehensive, substantive and game-changing ways forward to deal fairly and efficiently with heavy and growing public debt service burdens across developing countries, precipitated by speculative and volatile international net portfolio capital flows from developed countries.
7 April 2020COVID-19 causes devastating losses in working hours and employmentILOUpdated impacts on job losses by ILO -> The COVID-19 crisis  is expected to wipe out 6.7 per cent of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020 – equivalent to 195 million full-time workers. Large reductions are foreseen in the Arab States (8.1 per cent, equivalent to 5 million full-time workers), Europe (7.8 per cent, or 12 million full-time workers) and Asia and the Pacific (7.2 per cent, 125 million full-time workers). The proportion of workers in these “at risk” sectors varies from 43 per cent in the Americas to 26 per cent in Africa. Some regions, particularly Africa, have higher levels of informality, which combined with a lack of social protection, high population density and weak capacity, pose severe health and economic challenges for governments, the report cautions. Worldwide, two billion people work in the informal sector (mostly in emerging and developing economies) and are particularly at risk. 
30 March 2020The Covid-19 Shock to Developing Countries: Towards a “whatever it takes” programme for the two-thirds of the world’s population being left behindUNCTADIncludes calculations on how much debt relief is needed according to UNCTAD ($1 trillion)
27 March 2020IMF Enhances Debt Relief Trust to Enable Support for Eligible Low-Income Countries in the Wake of the COVID-19 PandemicIMFEnhancement to the IMF Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to enable the Fund to provide debt service relief -> expand the qualification criteria + fund raising for replenishment up to $1bn
25 March 2020In It Together: Protecting the Health of Africa’s People and their EconomiesIMF BlogPolicy responses to tackle the health and economic crisis in Africa, including debt relief
24 March 2020Policy Responses to COVID19 IMFCompilation of official bilateral responses, fiscal packages, etc. 
OngoingIMF and COVID19IMFIncludes a regional series: AFR: In It Together: Protecting the Health of Africa’s People and their Economies LAC: COVID-19 Pandemic and Latin America and the Caribbean: Time for Strong Policy Actions ME&CA: COVID-19 Pandemic and the Middle East and Central Asia: Region Facing Dual Shock
OngoingWorld Bank and COVID19World BankIncludes: World Bank Group Increases COVID-19 Response to $14 Billion To Help Sustain Economies, Protect Jobs (IFC package focusing on private sector)
OngoingCoronavirus (COVID-19) : News, Analysis and Resources by UNCTADUNCTADIncludes: The coronavirus shock: a story of another global crisis foretold (interesting policy recommendations including debt moratorium) 
OngoingTackling coronavirus (COVID-19) Contributing to a global effortOECDEconomic impact estimates and policy responses by OECD countries
OngoingWe will help the world rise stronger after COVID-19UN DESACompilation of videos and resources by UN DESA 
OngoingQ&A: COVID-19 pandemic – impact on food and agricultureFAOThere is also a list of analysis and highlights
18 March 2020COVID-19 and the world of work: Impact and policy responsesILOILO’s preliminary assessment concerning the possible impacts on the world of work and policy options to mitigate these impacts 

IMF disbursements linked to COVID19

DateTitle (linked)
21 April IMF Executive Board Approves a US$ 274 Million Emergency Support to Paraguay to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
21 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$12 Million Disbursement to São Tomé and Príncipe to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
20 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves US$361 Million in Emergency Support to Bosnia and Herzegovina to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
20 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$38 Million Disbursement to the Central African Republic to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
17 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves US$235 Million in Emergency Assistance to Moldova to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
17 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves US$327 Million in Emergency Support to Bolivia to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
17 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$886.2 Million Disbursement to Côte d’Ivoire to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
17 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves US$111.6 Million Disbursement to Haiti to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
16 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$ 1.386 Billion Disbursement to Pakistan to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
16 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$515 Million Disbursement to Panama to address the COVID-19 Pandemic
15 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$21.3 Million Disbursement to The Gambia to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
14 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$115.1 million Disbursement to Chad to Address the Covid-19 Pandemic
14 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$114.49 Million Disbursement to Niger to address the COVID-19 Pandemic
14 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$115.3 Million Disbursement to Burkina Faso to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
14 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$389 Million Disbursement to El Salvador to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
13 April 2020IMF Executive Board approves a US$1 billion disbursement to Ghana to address the COVID-19 Pandemic
13 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves for Senegal a US$442 Million Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility and Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument
10 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves EUR 176.53 Million in Financial Support for the Republic of North Macedonia
10 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$745 Million Disbursement to Tunisia to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
9 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$147 Million Disbursement under the Rapid Financing Instrument to Gabon to address the COVID-19 Pandemic
9 April 2020IMF Executive Board Receives Request for 2020 Flexible Credit Line Arrangement with Colombia
8 April 2020IMF Staff completes Discussions for a US$115 Million Disbursement to Chad in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
8 April 2020Morocco Draws on Funds Available under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line to Address COVID-19 Pandemic
3 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$ 165.99 Million Disbursement to the Republic of Madagascar to Address the Covid-19 Pandemic
3 April 2020IMF Executive Board Completes the Sixth Review under Togo’s ECF Arrangement and Augments Disbursement to Address the Impact of COVID-19
2 April 2020IMF Executive Board Approves a US$109.4 Million Disbursement to Rwanda to address the COVID-19 Pandemic
1 April 2020IMF Staff completes Discussions for a US$221 Million Disbursement to Senegal in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
31 March 2020IMF disburses US$143 million to Honduras to fight Covid-19 Pandemic

Civil society statements

DateTitle (linked)Institution / AuthorComments / Related issues
15 April 2020Schuldenmoratorium für 77 länder im kampf gegen Covid-19Erlassjahr
15 April 2020G20 suspends debt payments, more action neededJubilee Debt Campaign
15 April 2020G20 Suspends Debt Payments for Poor Countries As the Coronavirus SpreadsJubilee USA
15 April 2020G20 debt moratorium is a first step, must go further and multilaterals and private creditors must follow suitOxfamSuspending debt owed to rich countries is only one piece of the puzzle. Huge sums are owed by poor countries to rich private banks and investors in New York and London. They should be pushed to cancel debts by enforcement and not left to voluntary action. Other debt payments are owed to multilateral institutions including the IMF and World Bank, and these too must be cancelled for the year. 
15 April 2020Le G20 annonce une suspension de dette pour les pays les plus pauvres : Nous avons gagné du temps, mais le risque de future crise de la dette demeure entier !PFDD
14 April 2020IMF Debt Relief: Implications for developing countriesEurodad
14 April 2020African leaders urged to mobilise debt strike
ActionAid responds to IMF debt relief announcement
Action Aid
14 April 2020Reaction to $215 million of debt cancellation by IMFJubilee Debt Campaign UK
14 April 2020Coronavirus: IMF told to ‘massively scale up’ debt cancellation for developing worldGlobal Justice Now
13 April 2020As Coronavirus Spreads, IMF Cancels 6 Months of Debt for Poorest CountriesJubilee USA
10 April 2020ITUC-ICC-Global Citizen open letter to Finance Ministrers: Emergency debt reliefITUC-ICCEN:
7 April 2020A debt jubilee to tackle the Covid-19 health and economic crisisCoalition of debt and other CSOsStatement (available in english, french, spanish and portuguese) and list of signatures Here more info on the campaign resources
7 April 2020Cancelar las deudas para hacer frente a la crisis del COVID19 PACD
1 April 2020IMF Gold Reserves Can Provide Coronavirus Relief Says Development GroupJubilee USASee also: Jubilee Letter to the IMF on Reserve Gold Funds
31 March 2020Statement by Global Unions: The Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank must produce a plan to coordinate economic stimulus, public health action and debt reliefGlobal Unions (ITUC)
26 March 2020Debt relief must deliver on ambitionsEurodadSee also: – A debt moratorium for Low Income Economies (cost assessment) – COVID-19 and debt in the global south: Protecting the most vulnerable in times of crisis: Part I + Part II + Part III + Part IV
26 March 2020

25 March 2020
Corona-pandemie: iwf und weltbank fordern zu schuldenerlassen für arme länder auf   Schuldenerlasse zur bekämpfung der covid-19-pandemie weltweit gefordertErlassjahr
26 March 2020   25 March 2020IMF Announces Coronavirus Debt Relief and Increased Lending Resources  IMF and World Bank Ask G20 to Halt Debt Collection for Poor CountriesJubilee USASee also : – IMF Coronavirus ActionJubilee USA Letter to IMF on COVID-19 ResponseG20 Emergency Meeting Convenes on Coronavirus Health and Economic Impacts
25 March 2020FMI y el Banco Mundial piden suspensión del pago de la deuda de países pobresLatindadd
25 March 2020Reaction to IMF and World Bank call for a debt moratoriumJubilee Debt Campaign UKSee also Take Action call: Coronavirus: Cancel the debts of countries in the global south
25 March 2020G20 leaders must act boldly to overcome the CoronavirusOxfam Int. See also: Never in Our Lifetimes Has There Been a Call for Compassion Like This

Civil society analysis and resources

DateTitle (linked)Institution / AuthorComments / Related issues
19 April 2020Save Lives, Cancel The Debt Now!APMDDVideo: The IMF, the G7 and G20 have announced relief measures, such as the short-term suspension of payments for a limited group of countries. But the exceptional situation calls for far more ambitious decisions.
16 April 2020Six things you should know about Covid-19 and debt for developing countriesEurodadThis blog provides a guide to understanding the key issues for developing countries.
7 April 2020Fighting COVID-19: Why and How to Suspend Debt Repayment ImmediatelyCADTM, Eric ToussaintIn spanish here
6 April 2020What is the role of ODA in tackling the corona crisis?Jan Van de Poel, Eurodad
30 March 2020Latin America and the outbreak of COVID-19: a chronicle of multiple crises (Part 1 & Part 2)Maria José Romero, EurodadSpanish: América Latina y la epidemia de COVID-19: una crónica de múltiples crisis (Part 1 & Part 2)
30 March 2020How to confront the coronavirus catastrophe. The Global Public Health Plan andEmergency Response needed nowOxfam briefingSee summary here
OngoingTracking Covid-19 financing at Development BanksCoalition for Human Rights in Development“We have tracked commitments of over USD 58 billion for emergency Covid-19 response by multilateral development banks in the last month, and especially in the last couple of weeks. The banks also appear to be coordinating their responses”.
27 March 2020COVID-19 is hitting Caribbean and Latin American economies hard. Can they survive?Eric LeCompte (Jubilee USA), Miami Herald
27 March 2020Time for a Rights-Based Global Economic Stimulus to Tackle COVID-19Ignacio Saiz, CERSCalls for the extension of debt moratorium to all low and middle income countries
26 March 2020G20: offer debt relief to fight coronavirus AVAAZOnline signatures collection
26 March 2020Why Debt Relief should be part of the Covid ResponseDuncan Green, Oxfam
24 March 2020Eurodad cost assessment of a debt moratorium to tackle the COVID-19 crisisDaniel Munevar, EurodadCosts and implications of an immediate debt moratorium for 69 LIEs
23-26 March 2020COVID-19 and debt in the global south: Protecting the most vulnerable in times of crisis: Part I + Part II + Part III + Part IVDaniel Munevar, Eurodadblog series covering the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable countries in the global south. Part 1 analyses the impact of debt burdens on health services. Part 2 discusses how the economic crisis will affect countires in the global south. Part 3 highlights the degree of vulnerability of countries in the global south to the COVID-19 pandemic. Part 4 provides a discussion on policy responses to tackle the risks posed by the pandemic. 
23-27 March 2020Uganda braced to overcome covid- 19 pandemonium Uganda Debt Network

Articles and other resources

DateTitle (linked)Institution / AuthorComments / Related issues
1 May 2020People in the Global South don’t need debt relief, they need a new systemOpen Democracy/
Meera Karunananthan
Far from being the ‘great leveller’, COVID-19 has exposed and deepened socio-economic inequalities.
19 April 2020Creditors push back on G20 debt relief plea for emerging marketsFT
19 April 2020Debt Relief for Poor Nations Not an Easy Sell to BondholdersBloomberg
17 April 2020BBC World Business ReportBBC
17 April 2020IMF, World Bank Pledge Help Amid Calls for More Debt ReliefAssociated Press – NYTimes
17 April 2020Chinese Debt Relief: Fact and FictionDeborah Brautigam, The diplomat
15 April 2020Coronavirus: G20 delays poor nations’ debt paymentsBBC
14 AprilCoronavirus – Why Nigeria Deserves Debt Pardon From IMF, World Bank – NLCBassey Udo
12 April 2020Pressure grows for developing world debt relief over coronavirusThe Guardian
OngoingOfficial sector financial interventions globallyYale School of ManagementIncludes: Financial-Intervention Tracker (interventions by central banks, fiscal authorities, and international organizations); Analyses of Specific Intervention Types; Blog Posts; and Preliminary Discussion Drafts
7 April 2020Internationalizing the Crisis

World must combat looming debt meltdown in developing countries
Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate

The Guardian
7 April 2020Senior Africans propose ‘standstill’ on eurobond debt paymentsDavid Pilling, FTProminent Africans pressing for a two-year moratorium on $115bn of sovereign African debt owned by the private sector in what, under normal circumstances, would be considered a default.
6 April 2020April 2020 Global Debt Monitor: COVID-19 Lights a FuseIIFWith the COVID-19 fiscal response in full swing, the global debt burden is set to rise dramatically in 2020; gross government debt issuance soared to a record high of over $2.1 trillion last month, more than double the 2017-19 average of $0.9 trillion.  As social distancing becomes the norm across most mature economies, global recession looms: a recession which would begin with $87 trillion more in global debt than at the onset of the 2008 financial crisis. Using a simple top-down estimation, if net government borrowing doubles from 2019 levels—and there is a 3% contraction in global economic activity (nominal terms)—the world’s debt pile would surge from 322% of GDP to over 342% this year. 
6 April 2020La Covid-19 en el mundo más pobreJaime Atienza (Oxfam) and José Antonio AlonsoIn spanish
5th April 2020Abolish Africa’s Sovereign Debtors’ Prisons NowNdongo Samba Sylla and Peter DoyleOn IMF structural adjustment
4 April 2020Debt Moratoria in the Global South in the Age of CoronavirusChristina Laskaridis
3 April 2020Abolish illegitimate and odious claims by European countries from third parties and give absolute priority to human rightsReCommons Europe (CADTM et al)Recommendations in order to cancel the illegitimate and odious debts claimed from third countries and thus promote sovereign, solidarity-based and self-centred forms of development of the countries of the South, for the governments of European countries
29 March 2020Officials warn Africa is at ‘break the glass’ momentDavid Pilling, Financial Times“Abebe Selassie, director of IMF’s Africa department, said the continent faced its deepest economic challenge in several generations. Bilateral lenders should consider immediate debt relief, he said, while the IMF would waive debt payments for the poorest countries.”
26 March 2020From coronavirus crisis to sovereign debt crisisLee Buchheit and Sean Hagan, Financial Times Conclusion:“If a suspension of some sovereign debt payments becomes unavoidable in the coming months, the goal should be to ensure that this does not precipitate a destructive debt crisis for the afflicted countries. Corporate borrowers may seek such a standstill protection from a bankruptcy court; sovereign debtors must look elsewhere. Securing an effective standstill will also be critical to achieving inter-creditor equity. The IMF and World Bank earlier this week requested all official bilateral creditors to exercise forbearance with respect to amounts due to them. It will be difficult for official sector creditors to justify this forbearance to their taxpayers if the money is simply paid over to more importunate commercial lenders”.
25 March 2020Western governments told to suspend debt interest amid Covid-19Richard Partington, The guardianOn WB and IMF statement – JDC quoted
25 March 2020La gestion calamiteuse du coronavirus par la Banque mondiale et le FMIRenaud Vivien, La LibreOn links between structural adjustment, austerity, debt and health crisis – In spanish here
24 March 2020How debt burdens could cripple Africa’s COVID-19 responseDavid Archer, DEVEX“The coronavirus pandemic should be a wake-up call to IMF to withdraw damaging policies that continue to promote austerity and fail to build strong and fair tax systems”
24 March 20205 Principles on the Uses and Misuses of Debt Relief to Address the Coronavirus PandemicScott Morris, CDGOn the risks of debt relief to tackle the covid19 pandemic
27 March 2020The answer to pandemics? strong public health systemsWemos
23 March 2020Fighting Coronavirus: It’s Time to Invest in Universal Public HealthIsabel Ortiz and Thomas StubbIn spanish here On the links between austerity and coronavirus crisis
23-24 March 2020¿Dará Ecuador una vez más un ejemplo de valentía frente a los acreedores?   Ecuador Default Odds Surge as Virus Prompts Calls for Moratorium   Ecuador se acoge a moratoria de deuda y pide más ayuda al FMI por cononavirus   Indígenas le piden al Gobierno de Ecuador suspender el pago de la deuda externaCADTM

Bloomberg   INFOBAE    EFE
On Ecuador temporary suspension of payments
22 March 2020Corona Debt JubileeMichel Hudson, published in the Washington Post as “A debt jubilee is the only way to avoid a depression“The coronavirus outbreak is serving as a mind-expansion exercise, making hitherto unthinkable solutions thinkable. Debts that can’t be paid won’t be. A debt jubilee may be the best way out.”
19 March 2020How to pay for the warNelson Barbosa and Richard Kozul-Wrigh (UNCTAD), FT“The coronavirus economic response should be both swift, and shaped by how we want the economy to look when we emerge from crisis”.
17 March 2020PM wants world to consider writing off Pakistan’s debt to help cope with coronavirusBusiness Recorder“The world community has to think of some sort of a debt write off for countries like us which are very vulnerable. At least that will help us in coping with it”