The Group of 20 nations, representing the world’s biggest economies, has approved the extension of debt payment by an additional six months, aiming to protect the most vulnerable countries in fighting the pandemic.

According to a statement by the group late Wednesday, the new deadline is set for the end of June 2021.

More than $14 billion in debt payments had been otherwise due at the end of this year.

The statement also said the payment deadline would be further extended until the end of next year after the IMF and World Bank meet next spring, and the G20 members examine the economic and financial situation of the countries.

“Given the scale of the COVID-19 crisis, the significant debt vulnerabilities and deteriorating outlook in many low-income countries, we recognize that debt treatments may be required on a case-by-case basis,” it underlined.

The group agreed in principle on a Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and look forward to the endorsement of the framework by members, subject to their domestic approval procedures.

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