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Debt payments suspended for world's poorest countries as part of $200bn package to fight coronavirus impact

A shopper wears a protective face mask at a food market in Lagos.

2 min read

Debt payments for the world's poorest countries are to be suspended as part of a $200bn package of measures to tackle the coronavirus, the Treasury has announced.

The move - agreed at a virtual meeting of G20 finance ministers and led by the UK and India - will free up £12bn to help deal with the economic impact of the outbreak.

Other measures include an enhanced support package from the International Monetary Fund and an agreement to share the best ideas on how to contain the pandemic.

The agreement comes amid mounting fears that Covid-19 could have a devastating impact on the world's poorest nantions.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "The UK is at the forefront of international action in the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak and we’ll continue to work with our allies to save people’s lives and support the global economy.

"It’s right that we have suspended debt payments for the world’s poorest countries and are supporting the most vulnerable health systems in the world, which in turn makes us all safer."

Mr Sunak also called on the global community to come up with more cash to help find a vaccine against the virus, which is ultimately the only way life will return to normal.

In total, the UK has so far contributed £744 million in aid the fight the against coronavirus to help slow down the spread of the disease around the world and slow down its spread around the world.

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