Bishop of Leeds asks Government about suspension of debt payments from the world’s poorest countries

Bishop Nick BainesOn 13th May, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, received a written answer from Lord Agnew of Oulton on the debt of developing countries.

Bishop of Leeds: HL3475 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure private creditors comply with the agreement reached by G20 leaders on 15 April to suspend debt payments owed by 77 of the world’s poorest countries, in particular those debts that fall under UK jurisdiction.

Lord Agnew of Oulton: Her Majesty’s Government is deeply concerned about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income developing countries. It is vital that all creditors work together to ensure that countries especially vulnerable to the pandemic are able to protect their citizens and economies.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer and his counterparts called on commercial creditors to participate in the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative on comparable terms to the official sector.

Her Majesty’s Government is working closely with the Paris Club of official creditors and Institute of International Finance (IIF) to explore options for its membership to implement equivalent debt service suspensions. HM Treasury attended a joint meeting of the Paris Club and IIF on 28 April where both parties agreed to collaborate in support of the initiative.