Group of Seven finance ministers have struck an agreement to suspend tsunami-afflicted nations’ debt repayments, they said in a statement on Friday.
The debt repayment freeze is voluntary as far as the nations hit by the disaster are concerned.
The finance ministers said in a statement that the group would work with the Paris Club of creditor nations and other creditors to achieve a consensus on the approach.
“We would not expect debt payments from affected countries that request it until the World Bank and IMF have completed a full needs assessment of their reconstruction and financing requirements, recognising that some countries may be unable to make debt payments,” the G7 said in a statement.
“We will work, within the Paris Club, with other creditors to achieve a consensus for this approach,” the statement said.
Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown said: “Depending on the conclusions of the needs assessments, I believe that the G7 and Paris Club must also stand ready to consider all options for further assistance.”
The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada.
Reuters, January 7, 2005