Serious debt crisis across 54 nations, including Pakistan: UN

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released a report on Tuesday stating that “a significant debt crisis is spreading throughout developing economies, and the possibility of a worsening outlook is strong.”

On Tuesday, UNDP added its voice to the chorus of organizations and charities warning that a severe debt crisis is now settling in the world’s most underdeveloped regions.

In a recent assessment, the UNDP calculated that in order to prevent further severe poverty and give these nations a chance to combat climate change, 54 countries, or more than half of the world’s poorest people, now required rapid debt relief.

Given that the impacted nations were “among the most climate-vulnerable in the world,” this was concerning.

Moreover, the UN’s statement announced an immediate action is needed to aid the countries in surpassing the economic slump.

The warning comes as the World Bank and IMF convene in Washington this week amid growing concerns about a worldwide recession and a wave of financial crises ranging from Sri Lanka and Pakistan to Chad, Ethiopia, and Zambia.

Deep-driven concerns of the administrator

The UNDP administrator, Achim Steiner, called for a range of actions, including the cancellation of debt, providing more relief to more nations, and even incorporating specific language in bond contracts to allow for breathing room during crises.

He told reporters, “It is vital for us to step up and find solutions to deal with these difficulties before they become at least less controllable and possibly unmanageable.

Poverty will increase in the absence of comprehensive debt restructuring, and crucial investments in climate adaptation and mitigation will not be made.

Have “Good Faith”

The UNDP report also advocated for a recalibrating of the G20-led Common Framework, a mechanism created to aid nations facing debt restructuring difficulties due to the COVID-19 epidemic. It has only been utilized thus far in Zambia, Ethiopia, and Chad.

It suggested expanding the Common Framework’s eligibility so that all deeply indebted countries could use it rather than only the roughly 70 poorest countries, and it suggested suspending any debt payments automatically while the procedure was taking place.

According to the paper, “both will operate as an incentive for creditors to engage and to maintain a fair timeline, and it may also eliminate some of the reticence induced by rating anxieties for debtor countries.”

It further suggested creditors performing their duty well with “good faith” in Common Framework and those nations might propose to conduct environmentally beneficial actions to entice creditors to write off the debt.

 

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