In a ceremony at the Ministry of Works’ conference room on Friday, the United States and Grenada signed an agreement to consolidate and reschedule certain debts owed to the United States to support the Government of Grenada to devote those resources to increase social, health, and economic spending in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Once in force, the agreement defers until 2022-24 the payment of more than $320,000 in principal and interest due between May and December 2020, so that Grenada can focus on immediate pandemic needs. The agreement implements the terms of the Paris Club-G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative, of which Grenada is a beneficiary.
Minister for Finance Gregory Bowen and US Embassy Grenada Chargé d’ Affaires Karl Duckworth signed the agreement.
“Grenada is deeply appreciative of the move by the United States to defer the amounts owed to that country. We commend their responsiveness to the Debt Service Suspension Initiative which is crucial to the efforts by our country to redirect resources to mounting an effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic and to fostering the early stages of recovery. The effectiveness of our efforts thus far is due in large part to the relief granted through this debt service arrangement,” Minister Bowen said.
“At a time when so many in Grenada are impacted by the economic effects of Covid-19, the United States renews its commitment to Grenada and its people,” said Duckworth. “I’ve seen firsthand how the diminished number of tourists and students, along with the new Covid cluster, has affected the lives of Grenadians.”
“The United States is leading the effort to combat Covid-19 and its threat to global health and security,” added Duckworth. “Addressing debt transparency and sustainability is a priority for the United States to enable the long-term financial stability of Grenada and other countries as they face the difficult choice of servicing debt or responding to urgent health and economic needs.”
In April 2020, the United States helped lead the G20’s efforts to establish the Debt Service Suspension Initiative, which provides a suspension on official bilateral debt service payments by low-income countries so they can channel savings toward Covid-19 responses. This initiative is creating tangible, rapid benefits for the world’s countries that need it most.
The Paris Club was formed in 1956 and is an informal group of official creditors whose role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by borrower countries. The members of the Paris Club are the governments of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
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