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BRIEF November 23, 2021

COVID 19: Debt Service Suspension Initiative

In the interest of greater transparency, this webpage offers a country-by-country accounting of DSSI participants and the amounts they owe to creditors, based on information from the World Bank’s International Debt Statistics (IDS) database. Data on debt stocks and debt-service payment are available on an annual as well as monthly basis. The data are subject to change and will be updated regularly.


COVID-19 has dealt a major blow to world’s poorest countries, causing a recession that could push more than 100 million people into extreme poverty.

That is why the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund urged G20 countries to establish the Debt Service Suspension Initiative. The DSSI is helping countries concentrate their resources on fighting the pandemic and safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of millions of the most vulnerable people. Since it took effect on May 1, 2020, the initiative has delivered more than $5 billion in relief to more than 40 eligible countries.

In all, 73 countries are eligible for a temporary suspension of debt-service payments owed to their official bilateral creditors. The G20 has also called on private creditors to participate in the initiative on comparable terms. The suspension period, originally set to end on December 31, 2020, has been extended through December 2021.

The World Bank and the IMF are supporting implementation of the DSSI—by monitoring spending, enhancing public debt transparency, and ensuring prudent borrowing. DSSI borrowers commit to use freed-up resources to increase social, health, or economic spending in response to the crisis. They commit to disclose all public sector financial commitments (involving debt and debt-like instruments). They also commit to limit their non-concessional borrowing to levels agreed under IMF programs and the World Bank’s non-concessional borrowing policies.

How DSSI Benefits Low-Income Countries

(The estimates are current as of November 23, 2021. They will be updated once a week.)

country dssi Participation? risk of external debt distress risk of overall debt distress date of DSA Publication Potential DSSI Savings (January - December 2021)
% of GDP USD millions)


1Estimated debt-service payments owed to all official bilateral creditors as per the World Bank Debtor Reporting System (DRS) and International Debt Statistics definitions and classifications. Estimates are derived from annual IDS projections based on end-2020 external public and publicly guaranteed debt outstanding and disbursed. Data for South Sudan, Micronesia, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Marshall Islands are not available. GDP data based on WDI. The full IDS database is available here.

2Reflects published DSA ratings as of end-September 2021.

3Not covered under joint Bank-Fund Debt Sustainability Framework for Low-Income Countries.

4IDA countries as of FY 20, and Angola

5Reflects if a country has requested participation in 2020 and 2021. 


VIDEO Aug 04,2020

How is Suspending Debt Service Payments Helping the Fight against COVID-19?

The World Bank Group’s Marcello Estevão answers questions on how the DSSI works and just how effective it has been.