As Hurricane Irma devastates the Caribbean, some of the worst-affected countries are already struggling with massive debt repayments which will only be made worse if they have to borrow to finance much-needed reconstruction, according to Eurodad member Erlaasjahr, who make the case for immediate debt relief to facilitate rebuilding efforts. Read more here.
Antigua & Barbuda is already among the most severely indebted island nation s in the region with public debt at around 100% of Gross National Income. It's estimated that between 2011 and 2015, an average 12.2% of annual export earnings went on servicing debt to external creditors, and a payment of nearly US$3 million is due to the IMF today (September 7). IMF support for reconstruction is available via the Fund's Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) - but this will only add to the overall debt. As Erlassjahr notes, "Debt relief qualifies as an immediate crisis response... The IMF needs to declare an immediate debt service moratorium as of today, thus making the almost US-$ 3m available for immediate disaster relief.