Yellen pushes for disaster clauses in World Bank debt agreements

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday the World Bank should add disaster clauses to debt agreements with poorer countries.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled "The Annual Testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the International Financial System" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 13, 2023.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled "The Annual Testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the International Financial System" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 13, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) -U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday the World Bank should add disaster clauses to debt agreements with poorer countries, speaking ahead of a summit in Paris that will discuss how to boost crisis financing for low-income countries.

Such clauses could be part of a broader reform of the World Bank to free up more funds, Yellen told journalists in the French capital.

"We would also like to see the World Bank offer borrowers the option to add climate resilient debt clauses to their loan agreements. These clauses would help ease pressures on countries if a natural disaster strikes," she said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen delivers her speech at the U.S embassy to France, ahead of the Global Climate Finance conference, in Paris, France June 22, 2023 World leaders, heads of international organizations and activists are gathering in Paris for a two-day summit aimed at seeking better responses to tackle poverty and climate change issues by reshaping the global financial system.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen delivers her speech at the U.S embassy to France, ahead of the Global Climate Finance conference, in Paris, France June 22, 2023 World leaders, heads of international organizations and activists are gathering in Paris for a two-day summit aimed at seeking better responses to tackle poverty and climate change issues by reshaping the global financial system. Lewis Joly/Pool via REUTERS

She said the priorities of the summit were evolving multilateral development banks, debt sustainability and mobilising private capital.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas, editing by Silvia Aloisi and Toby Chopra)

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