The Common Framework is intended to deal with insolvency and protracted liquidity problems, along with the implementation of an IMF-supported reform program. G20 official creditors—both traditional “Paris Club” creditors, such as France and the United States, and new creditors, such as China and India, which, as shown in the chart below, overtook the Paris Club as lenders in the last decade—agreed to coordinate to provide debt relief consistent with the debtor’s capacity to pay and maintain essential spending needs. The Common Framework requires private creditors to participate on comparable terms to overcome collective action challenges and ensure fair burden sharing.
But so far, only three countries—Chad, Ethiopia, and Zambia—have made requests for debt relief under the Common Framework. And each case has experienced significant delays.
In part, these delays reflect the problems that motivated the creation of the Common Framework in the first place. These include coordinating Paris Club and other creditors, as well as multiple government institutions and agencies within creditor countries, which can slow down decisions. The Common Framework aims to mitigate these problems but does not eliminate them. New creditors, including relevant domestic institutions, need to gain comfort with restructuring processes that would allow all creditors to work together in providing relief and enable the IMF to lend to countries facing debt difficulties. This takes time.