The G7 countries pledged a massive scale-up in support of developing-country financing at their recent summit in the UK. How it will be financed remains an open question. But analyzing trends in recent debt flows by lenders to developing countries, and taking stock of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), can provide some important lessons for the G7’s new ambitions.
CGD Policy Blogs
The COVID-19 pandemic has left a large dent in the government budgets of low-income countries (LIDCs). During 2020, they had no choice but to increase public spending to fight the pandemic at a time when shrinking economic activity depressed their revenues. In this blog post, we argue that while these efforts to expand the flow of concessional resources to LIDCs are laudable, they are unlikely to be sufficient and, going forward, some form of debt relief will be necessary to secure fiscal sustainability down the road for these countries.
This blog sets out the EU’s position as an international creditor and offer thoughts for what role the EU could play in debt relief.
Sustaining Low-Income Countries’ Progress Towards the SDGs in a Post-COVID 19 World: What is Achievable?
Following on from the “Financing Low-Income Countries: Towards Realistic Aspirations and Concrete Actions in a Post-COVID World" conference in October, Mark Plant and Sudhir Shetty outline some of the key themes discussed at the conference.
This blog briefly describes the OECD DAC's new rules for debt relief, and four features that may not satisfy critics of the new system.
The latest G20 finance ministers meeting concluded with no major progress on debt relief for the world’s poorest countries, and a few setbacks. To date, no country eligible for the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative has requested a moratorium on their private sector debt. We are at an impasse.
Revisiting HIPC as Part of the COVID-19 Response: How did Commercial Debt Relief for Poorest Countries Work Last Time?
The G20 is calling on commercial creditors to follow their lead and extend a moratorium on their debt. But if past is precedent external commercial debt could be shaping up to be major fault line in the debt relief process moving forward.
Debt relief for low-income countries is on the table of measures to consider for coronavirus response. The imperative right now is to get cash to LICs as quickly as possible. Suspending some debt service payments may be a good first step in freeing up some budget space for new spending. Beyond that, protracted debt-relief negotiations with multilateral and commercial creditors right now could be a distraction at best but could also actively undermine the ability of institutions like the World Bank to offer new financing for crisis response.
The experience of the 2007 global financial crisis can tell us a few things about how low-income countries could be affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the near term, even as we recognize that the myriad economic problems created by the pandemic are almost certainly greater in number and scale than the problems in 2007.