PARIS - The Paris Club of creditor nations have so far waived $1.1 billion euros of debt servicing payments due this year from some of the worlds poorest countries under a G20 deal and more relief is on the way soon, the group said on Wednesday.
The Paris Club said it had agreed to suspend interest and principal repayments from Chad, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Republic of Congo in the latest wave of countries given some financial leeway to help them focus on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
The Group of 20 leading economies and the Paris Club, an informal group of state creditors coordinated by the French finance ministry, agreed in April to freeze debt payments of the 77 poorest countries this year.
The latest agreements bring to 12 the number of countries to receive debt relief under the deal, with a total of $1.1 billion in debt coming due this year deferred to 2022-2024, the Paris Club said.
"Another 18 are being processed and should be wrapped up quickly," Paris Club president Odile Renaud-Basso told journalists on a conference call.
G20 creditors not members of the Paris Club, including China, are supposed to waive debt payments bilaterally on the same terms under the deal with the G20.
A decision on whether to extend the payment suspensions would mostly likely come at a G20 summit in November, though some countries might need an outright reduction of their debt burdens, Renaud-Basso said.
The countries potentially eligible under the deal have $36 billion falling due this year, with $13 billion owed to other governments, $9 billion to private creditors and $14 billion to multilateral lenders, according to World Bank data.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Edmund Blair and Catherine Evans) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +33 1 4949 5143;))