With potential impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic on sovereign debt for the poorest countries in the Asia Pacific region there is a growing regional and international call for the cancellation of all external debt payments due to be made in 2020.
Many of these countries are already in debt distress, or risk thereof. They lack vital societal functions such as health infrastructure, welfare and education whilst also struggling to meet the financial demands from the impacts of climate change. Those that will be hardest hit will be the most vulnerable and marginalised, particularly women.
With cuts to aid budgets and the debt crisis already prevalent in many countries in the Asia Pacific the COVID crisis has revealed that both low income and middle income countries are at risk. The financing needed to prevent both a COVID-related health and an economic catastrophe will be immense.
The outbreak of COVID-19 shows that a rapid response is essential. Governments need to have resources for decisive action today. Any delay will make a post-COVID world more difficult to control and late repair of economic damage more costly, especially for borrower countries.
In this Aid Talks webinar, speakers, from EURODAD, Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisation (PIANGO), IBON International and Jubilee Australia discuss the need to cancel all external debts.