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Debt relief must deliver on ambitions

The IMF and WB are calling on the G20 to support debt relief for impoverished countries in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. But the institutions must break with the past to ensure debt relief fulfils its purpose. The COVID-19 pandemic is an exceptional crisis and potentially implies devastating legacy impacts for many impoverished countries. Global policy responses to deal with the economic fallout must therefore break with precedent and also ensure a reinforcement of longer-term development priorities. The call for a moratorium on official bilateral debt by the Bretton Woods Institutions is welcome, and could be a significant measure in securing fiscal breathing space for countries battling against the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. But for some countries, such a standstill may not ...

A call to action for CSOs: Stop the new debt crisis from derailing women’s rights

Iolanda Fresnillo

09 Mar 2020 10:18:20

Iolanda Fresnillo, Eurodad and Verónica Serafini, LATINDADD This blog outlines the serious barriers women are facing due to the unfurling debt crisis in the global south. As debt payments increase, resources are diverted from public services investments and towards the outsourcing and privatisation of these services. This poses a threat to women’s rights and equality. CSOs across the world can help tackle this injustice, but, as this blog states, a greater gender focus for our actions is essential.  An unfurling debt crisis The last decade has seen an unprecedented increase in debt levels globally, including in the global south. This new “wave of debt” is – according to the World Bank - “the largest, fastest and most broad-based increase in debt” we’ve witnessed in “emerging ...

Haiti 10 years after the earthquake: the fight for social and economic justice continues

Iolanda Fresnillo

10 Jan 2020 14:17:31

Delmas camp for  people internaly displaced by the earthquake. I Fresnillo/ Dec 2013 On January 12 2010 an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale ripped through Port-au-Prince metropolitan area and other parts of Haiti. More than 1.5 million people, representing 15 per cent of the country's population, were directly affected by the earthquake. According to the Haitian government, 316,000 people lost their lives. An estimated US$ 7.8 billion dollars of damage was caused - equivalent to more than 120 per cent of the GDP of 2009. Everyone in Haiti has a story that begins or ends on 12 January and many wounds remain open. Everyone lost someone. Everyone remembers where they were that day. From debt relief to oil debt When the earthquake struck, I was with a group of European ...
Centro de la Cooperación Cultural Floreal Gorini, Buenos Aires, 29 November 2019, 14:00 – 17:00 This seminar took place in the context of an emerging wave of debt crises across the globe, and an especially acute situation in Argentina, which had already ...

G20 – a chance for solutions, or a part of the problem?

As G20 leaders meet this weekend to debate the state of the global financial and economic system, there is no shortage of problems to discuss. For example, the world is facing a new wave of debt crises; continued large-scale corporate tax avoidance; and a desperate lack of funding for achieving the sustainable development goals, including for ensuring basic infrastructure for public services and combating climate change. The failure of the global system is also exacerbating existing inequalities, including gender inequality.  But the G20 is by no means a young and new initiative and while assessing the challenges ahead, it is also important to look back and discuss whether the global problems we are facing have arisen in spite of the G20 leadership, or – at least to some extent – because ...