Kenya Didn’t Apply for Suspension of Debt Payments Under G20 Initiative – Minister

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of the National Treasury, Ukur Yatani, on Friday said the East African country had not applied for suspension of debt payments under the G20 COVID-19 initiative.

The suspension of debt payments under the G20 COVID-19 initiative is aimed at helping poor countries contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ukur Yatani, in a statement issued in Nairobi, said he was encouraged that economic activity has been picking up following a raft of fiscal and monetary policy interventions and the reopening of the economy.

“Kenya seeks a cautious approach in evaluating the costs and benefits of the offer and making an informed decision to safeguard the economic and financial standing of the country,” Yatani said.

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He said the G20 major economies in May offered to suspend debt service for external debt for low-to-middle-income economies facing temporary liquidity challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

“Kenya welcomes this intervention among others in the form of financial support targeted to the health sector.

“In particular, the government acknowledges the immense support received through multilateral and bilateral agencies towards mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Whereas challenges remain given the uncertainties of COVID-19 pandemic, we are confident that the economy will respond to policy and structural reform measures supported by our development partners,” he said.

Yatani said Kenya was currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a programme to anchor fiscal policy to stabilise the economy and address emerging vulnerabilities.

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