The Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Honourable Philip J. Pierre and the Charge d’Affaires, Marc Mertillo, from the Embassy of the French Republic to Barbados and the OECS signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Saint Lucia and the Government of the French Republic for the final extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).
The DSSI was an initiative agreed to in April 2020 by the IMF, World Bank, and the G20 countries, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to cushion the economic shock and revenue loss experienced by the Member States during the pandemic. This agreement also allowed Low-Income Countries to temporarily suspend their bilateral government-to-government debt service obligation, and to get some relief as it pertained to their cash flow. The payment deferment was implemented on a bilateral basis by various governments and was readily embraced by Saint Lucia as a beneficiary.
The Government of Saint Lucia is committed to the policy direction of devoting the resources freed up by this initiative to increase spending in critical areas geared at mitigating the health, economic and social impact of the COVID-19 crisis. This also supported the Government’s commitment to facilitating an enabling environment for the recovery of the local economy, as the initiative assisted in Saint Lucia’s debt management and liquidity support.