World Bank Group President David Malpass said Saturday that he is very pleased to see the progress the Group of 20 (G20) has made on debt transparency and debt relief.
"These are important, positive steps for development, and I've been glad to see constructive responses from major creditors," Malpass said in remarks to the G20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia via video conference on Nov. 21-22.
The G20 endorsed the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) in April to help the poorest countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The DSSI was extended in October by six more months.
Last week, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors pledged to commit to the DSSI in close coordination, saying that maximum support would be provided for DSSI-eligible countries.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday said that the country supports a G20 decision on the extension of the DSSI, and will continue to fully implement it along with other parties.
"President Xi's commitments and last week's announcements are helpful and welcome," Malpass said at the virtual summit.
"Debt reduction and transparency will enable productive investment, a key to achieving an earlier, stronger and more lasting recovery," said the World Bank chief, adding that "more needs to be done."
Malpass noted that the debt challenges are becoming more frequent, including in Chad, Angola, Ethiopia and Zambia where, in the absence of more permanent debt relief, "the poverty outlook remains bleak."
"We need to guard against doing too little now, and then suffering disorderly defaults and repeated debt restructurings as in the 1980s," he said.