In U.S.-Led Letter, More Than 300 Lawmakers Urge IMF, World Bank To Cancel Debts Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Reuters: More than 300 lawmakers urge IMF, World Bank to cancel poor countries’ debt
“Over 300 lawmakers from around the world on Wednesday urged the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to cancel the debt of the poorest countries in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and to boost funding to avert a global economic meltdown. The initiative, led by former U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ilham Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, comes amid growing concern that developing countries and emerging economies will be devastated by the pandemic…” (Shalal, 5/13).

Reuters: IMF chief says growth forecast cuts ‘very likely’ as coronavirus hits economies hard
“International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Tuesday it was ‘very likely’ the Fund would cut global growth forecasts further as the coronavirus pandemic was hitting many economies harder than previously projected…” (Shalal/Lawder, 5/12).

Washington Post: In a time of global crisis, should the world cancel poor countries’ debts?
“…Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in a Wednesday letter addressed to Georgieva and David Malpass, president of the World Bank, called on international financial organizations to consider ‘extensive debt forgiveness’ for more than 70 of the world’s poorest countries. The letter, which also called for significant fiscal stimulus to help stabilize the global economy, was signed by more than 300 lawmakers from over two dozen countries, including former Argentine president Carlos Menem, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, and Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), one of the most senior members in the U.S. chamber…” (Tharoor, 5/13).

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