Japan suspends Mozambique's debt service
Maputo, 6 Apr (AIM) – The Japanese government has suspended the servicing of Mozambique’s debt to Japan, amounting to 92 million meticais (about 1.3 million US dollars).
The suspension of the debt service covers the period from May to December 2020, and is intended to alleviate the financial burden caused to Mozambique by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The debt service suspension was formalized by Foreign Minister Veronica Macamo and the Japanese Ambassador Kimura Hajime, at a ceremony in Maputo on Monday.
Speaking after the ceremony, Macamo said the suspension showed the firm commitment of Japan in helping Mozambique consolidate its efforts to promote rapid, sustainable and inclusive economic and social development.
“The measure taken by the Japanese government”, she said, “meets the concerns of our society in this period when the country is facing a combination of challenges, including the heinous actions of terrorism, armed violence in the centre of the country, the adversities of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the impact of climate change”.
She stressed the importance of assisting the victims of terrorism in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, including the supply of water purification equipment, costing 4.67 million US dollars, and the supply of technical equipment worth 1.8 million dollars to the Mozambican Maritime, Lake and River police for operations to rescue citizens who have taken to the sea to flee from the terrorists operating in coastal districts.
Hajime said that, with the money saved, Mozambique could acquire other resources to alleviate the effects of Covid-19. He noted that Japan had, via Unicef, granted Mozambique 745,000 dollars in April 2020 to purchase indispensable products in the areas of medicine, water and sanitation, required to combat the pandemic.
He added that Japan last year disbursed 100 million dollars to the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, run by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which provides debt service relief to countries hit by catastrophic events including public health crises such as the pandemic.
“We are pleased that we can help Mozambique in alleviating its foreign debt service”, said the ambassador.
Other countries that have suspended Mozambique’s debt service payments include China and Belgium.