(Bloomberg) — Businesses and unions are pushing the world’s richest countries to do more to help poorer nations get through the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to finance ministers from the Group of 20, the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Trade Union Confederation call for a suspension of debt payments to be extended to April 2022 from the end of the year.
They also said the initiative, which was agreed this April and currently covers more than 70 countries, should be expanded to other nations depending on health and debt vulnerabilities.
“Removing the spectre of sovereign debt from pandemic containment and the economic crisis is an absolute imperative to business, workers and citizens throughout the world,” they said in the letter. “The required investment from the world’s leading economies is minute compared to the social and economic costs of inaction.”
The call comes as governments’ emergency spending on healthcare and economic stimulus spirals. That’s pushing up global debt, which may top 100% of output this year. The IMF has highlighted the issue, noting that many emerging economies entered the crisis in an already vulnerable situation.
Last week, World Bank President David Malpass made a similar call, saying the suspension should be extended into 2021.
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