Developing country debt payments are higher than at any point since 2001, after skyrocking in 2020 and staying at that level in 2021. Rising US and global interest rates in this year could further intensify the debt crisis many lower income countries are facing, the camapaign predicts.
Figures published by Jubilee Debt Campaign show that developing country debt payments have increased 120% between 2010 and 2021: Average government external debt payments were 14.3% of government revenue in 2021, up from 6.8% in 2010.
Like the DRGR project, the authors caution that huge debt obligations are preventing many countries from addressing and recovering from the covid pandemic. More than that: In many low- and middle-income countries debt service is impeding crisis responses, constraining the ability to adapt to the impending climate crisis and threatening the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
The campaign points out that rising interest rates, in the U.S. and globally, could further exacerbate the debt crisis in 2022. Jubilee’s figures do not only show how crucial debt relief is at this point – they also underscore the importance of involving private lenders in the process: In 2022, of external debt payments due to be paid by low and lower middle-income governments, 47% are to private lenders, 27% multilateral institutions, 12% China and 14% governments other than China.
See the Debt Data Portal for key statistics and analysis on the debts of countries and governments.