G20 says 36 of poorest countries have applied for debt relief

WASHINGTON, May 28 (Reuters) – The Group of 20 major economies on Thursday said 36 of 77 eligible countries had applied for suspension of official bilateral debt payments to help them combat the novel coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout.

In a statement, the Saudi G20 secretariat said the debt relief initiative approved in April could provide immediate liquidity of $14 billion as more countries participated.

It said the amount could increase significantly if additional creditors, including multilateral development banks and private-sector creditors, joined the initiative. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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