By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – The Group of 20 nations must offer poorer countries a longer freeze in debt payments and other help to protect the global economy from long-term scarring inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading business and labor groups said.
Warning of job losses, increasing poverty, rising child mortality and high business failure rates in poorer countries, the groups urged G20 finance ministers, who will meet by teleconference next week, to take immediate action.
“The required contribution from the world’s leading economies is minute compared to the social and economic costs of inaction,” the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Trade Union Confederation, and Global Citizen, a group pushing to end extreme poverty by 2030, said in an open letter.
The G20’s freeze in official bilateral debt payments for the poorest countries should be extended through to end-April 2022 and broadened to include lower-middle and