IMF chief says creditor community forming to deal with Chad debt

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva President David Malpass prior to a Development Committee meeting, during the IMF and World Bank's 2019 Annual Meetings of finance ministers and bank governors, in Washington, U.S., October 19, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chad’s creditors will get together within the next week to deal with the African country’s request for debt relief under a new common framework agreed last year by the Group of 20 major economies and the Paris Club of official creditors, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Tuesday.

Georgieva announced the move during a broader discussion about debt concerns during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

She said it was critical to increase transparency about country’s debt burdens, and to involve all creditors in any debt restructuring or rescheduling process. Georgieva also urged countries to seek such debt treatment early to boost their chances to return to sustainable growth.

World Bank President David Malpass told a separate event on Tuesday that the bank was moving forward with the IMF on Chad, and hoped to be able to provide “substantial fast-disbursing resources” for Chad, which was the first country to ask for debt restructuring under the G20 framework hammered out last year.

Ethiopia and Zambia subsequently followed suit.

Like several other African countries, Chad is struggling with a high debt burden against a backdrop of the coronavirus crisis and low prices for oil, its major export.

Malpass said Chad had a heavy burden of collateralized debt owed to a very narrow group of creditors, presenting specific challenges. He gave no additional details.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Marguerita Choy