As the Global South grapples with a deadly pandemic and growing climate concerns, the United Nations Development Program estimates developing countries and emerging economies owe close to $1.1 trillion in debt service payments in 2021 alone. Comprehensive debt relief is needed to avoid this looming crisis, but existing relief structures, such as the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative and Common Framework for Debt Treatments, fall short in meeting the severity of the moment.
On Monday, 28. June 2021 the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, the Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS University London and the Global Development Policy Center, Boston University hosted an expert webinar discussion and presentation of its new report. Read the full announcement of the event here.
Five of the authors of our proposal “Securing Private Sector Participation and Policy Space for Sustainable Development” – Shamshad Akhtar, Kevin P. Gallagher, Stephany Griffith-Jones, Moritz Kraemer and Ulrich Volz – presented its key elements and calls for action.
They were joined by the following keynote speakers:
- Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
- José Antonio Ocampo, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs and Director of the Economic and Political Development Concentration at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
- Louis Kasekende, Executive Director, Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa
Read the Blog Summary on the discussion by Rebecca Ray, Global Development Policy Center, Boston University, here.
Full Video Recording
In the “Breakingviews” section at Reuters, our co-authors Shamshad Akhtar and Ulrich Volz write about the deceptive calm and misplaced optimism in debt markets. They point out the enormous hurdles that developing and emerging economies face in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and meeting key climate and development goals at the same time.
A proposal by Ulrich Volz, Shamshad Akhtar, Kevin P. Gallagher, Stephany Griffith-Jones, Jörg Haas and Moritz Kraemer.
Originally published in November 2020 by the Heinrich Böll Foundation; the Center for Sustainable Finance at SOAS, University of London; and Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center, the DRGR report is now also available in Spanish translation.
The report “Debt Relief for Green and Inclusive Recovery” proposes that low and middle-income countries with unsustainable debt burden receive substantial debt relief by public and private creditors, in order to provide fiscal space for investment in Covid-19-related health and social spending, climate adaptation and green economic recovery strategies.