IMF, World Bank leaders praise G20 debt relief initiative

FILE PHOTO: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks during a conference hosted by the Vatican on economic solidarity

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank David Malpass on Wednesday praised a new G20 debt relief agreement that suspends bilateral debt servbice payments by poor countries.

A source familiar with a G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors said the debt service suspension would run from May 1 through Dec. 31, with an option for renewal in 2021.

Georgieva, in a statement to a meeting of G20 leaders also said the IMF was “urgently” seeking some $18 billion in new resources for the Fund’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust for poor countries and was exploring how the use of special drawing rights could aid this effort.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)