Reports from the Ministry of Finance show that Ethiopia’s total debt for the first quarter of the current fiscal year, which is equivalent to 0.5 percent of the country’s GDP, has been suspended due to the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). Ethiopia had accumulated more than 480 million USD from various loans during this period.
The Public Sector Debt Statistical bulletin that is published by the Ministry of Finance’s Debt Management Directorate every quarter also showed that the payment of 72.5 million USD of Ethiopia’s debt had been suspended due to the country’s eligibility to the precepts of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).
The DSSI was launched by the G20 Summit, based on recommendation from the World Bank Group, to assist eligible countries in better directing their resources towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since becoming operational on May 1st, 2020, the initiative has led to the suspension of more than 5 billion USD in loans to 40 countries across the globe. While the suspension period deadline was set for December 31st, involved parties have decided to extend that date through June 2021 due to fears that the pandemic is not going to be contained.
According to the bulletin the total public sector debt stock by the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal year amounted to 54.7 billion USD. Compared to the same period last year, Ethiopia’s debt has shown a slight decrease, largely due to no external loan agreements being made.