Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Eric LeCompte, Executive Director

Contact: Kate Zeller, Campaigns Director / (o) (202) 783-3566 x105 / (m) (503) 936-7553

Press Release

As Coronavirus Spreads, IMF Cancels 6 Months of Debt for Poorest Countries


The board of the International Monetary Fund approved $500 million through the IMF Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to cancel 6 months of debt service for Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R., The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.

Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations Finance Expert, releases the following statement on the announcement:

"This is an incredibly positive step. These countries need to bolster their health systems right away and cancellation of debt for 6 months will help these countries.

"Many of these countries have less than 50 critical care unit beds per country.

"All of the countries could benefit from more than just a 6-month debt cancellation. As the poorest countries in the world, they really need full cancellation.

"While we encourage more countries to donate money to this IMF trust, the IMF also needs to use its own resources.

"When this trust was used previously, the IMF sold gold in its reserve. Currently, there is $140 billion in this reserve and even selling ten billion could get us closer for debt cancellation for these countries and others.

"We worked on this mechanism since 2010 and every time it's been used, it's been critical for protecting some of the world's poorest people.

"What strikes me most is that the four countries who previously received grants and debt relief from this trust are benefiting from it again. Haiti, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are again receiving this critical relief and this says something about lending and the fragility of some of the world's poorest countries. Out of this current crisis we need to find ways to move these countries out of poverty and on a permanent path to prosperity."

Read the IMF's Release on the Debt Relief here

Read Jubilee USA's March 23rd letter to IMF on a health and economic COVID-19 plan  here

Read Jubilee USA's April 1st letter to the IMF on reserve gold funds here


Jubilee USA Network is an interfaith, non-profit alliance of religious, development and advocacy organizations. We are 75 U.S. institutions and more than 750 faith groups working across the United States and around the globe. We address the structural causes of poverty and inequality in our communities and countries around the world.

Manchin Fumes After Sanders Op-Ed in West Virginia Paper Calls Out Obstruction of Biden Agenda

"Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation," wrote Sanders. "Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin."

Andrea Germanos ·

US to Offer 'Condolence Payments' to Relatives of 10 Civilians Killed in Drone Strike

The Pentagon statement follows a call for President Joe Biden to "show real concern for civilians by taking more meaningful steps to prevent civilian casualties as a result of all U.S. lethal operations."

Andrea Germanos ·

New Filing Reveals Sinema Pads Campaign Coffers With More Pharma and Finance Funds

"This is what someone who's bought and paid for looks like."

Brett Wilkins ·

'We're Not Stopping': Weeklong D.C. Climate Protests End With 650+ Arrests, Vows to Fight On

"There is no other planet to escape to. Water is life... They need to listen to the youth. They need to hear us speak our cries."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo