As G20 Finance Ministers gather for the last time this year, Dr David McNair, ONE’s Global Policy Director, warned time is running out for the world’s poorest countries.
Following Zambia’s default on its debt repayments over the weekend, and a disappointing statement from the G20 previewing their “Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI”, McNair urged the G20 to be bolder with their proposals.
Dr McNair said: “It’s the G20’s job to safeguard the global economy and it is failing. If leaders don’t come up with a more ambitious economic package to the world’s poorest countries, we are looking at a wave of defaults, millions more facing extreme poverty, and a lost decade for development.
“What we’ve seen so far on the Common Framework is weak. We need more carrots and sticks so that private creditors and the World Bank participate fully. It is not enough to simply ‘acknowledge’ the issue of debt transparency – we need action.”
The latest analysis from ONE reveals that the world’s poorest countries will pay a total of $38.4 billion in debt service payments to international creditors over the next 13 months, the majority of them will go towards multilateral banks and private and non-official creditors.
“As G20 thinks through its broader COVID-19 economic response plans, it should back a comprehensive economic recovery package. The first order of business should be the allocation and transfer of 500 billion Special Drawing Rights to help the poorest countries weather the crisis.”