CSO letter on the worsening of debt distress in low- and middle-income countries and the role of the private sector


A coalition of 34 CSOs expressed their concerns regarding the rapidly worsening of debt distress and fiscal conditions in many low- and middle-income countries. Meanwhile citizens are facing inflationary pressures as well as the ongoing impact of Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and the climate crisis. This letter was sent to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, the Indonesian presidency Finance Minister Sri Mulyani and Central Bank Governor Perry Warjiyo, the European Commission, the G24, the South Centre and the UN Secretary General. 

The letter

Civil society is calling on the G20 governments to:

  • Support and promote an open-ended intergovernmental discussion about the Common Framework and further reforms needed in the international debt architecture. We believe that the design of debt treatments and the discussions around Common Framework improvements should take place in a democratic, multilateral and inclusive institutional space, such as the UN, to include the debtor countries and avoid exclusive forums with the predominance of creditors and privileged influence by the private sector.
  • Support immediate short-term improvements of the Common Framework, including by:
    • expanding access to additional heavily indebted vulnerable countries,
    • providing debt standstills throughout debt restructuring negotiations for private as well as bilateral and multilateral creditors,
    • clarifying and enforcing comparability of treatment by private creditors,
    • committing legislative protection and financial support to debtor countries who need to default on recalcitrant creditors, while debt cancellation and restructuring from other creditors should go ahead. Such commitments should be provided by the G20, Paris Club governments and multilateral development banks, as well as the IMF through its lending into arrears policy.
  • Make sure that the G20 finance track, the G7 working group on private sector and other similar forums do not provide privileged access to the IIF and private creditors or financial sector representatives to their working groups, meetings and policy makers; rather all stakeholders, especially countries and representatives of those affected by the debt crisis need to have access and be consulted. The C20 recommendations (2021) on resolving the emerging debt crisis are recommendations by debt expert CSOs from around the world.

 The signatories

  • SOMO, The Netherlands
  • Eurodad, Regional network
  • Latindadd, Regional network
  • Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network (SAPSN), Regional network
  • Plateforme Française Dette et Développement - PFDD, France
  • Erlassjahr.de - Entwicklung braucht Entschuldung e.V., Germany
  • Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (AKÜ), Estonia
  • Jubilee Scotland, Scotland
  • Global Social Justice, Switzerland
  • Debt Justice Norway (SLUG), Norway
  • Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, United Kingdom
  • Christian Aid, United Kingdom
  • CAFOD, United Kingdom
  • Bond, United Kingdom
  • Growthwatch, India
  • Indian Social Action Forum, India
  • Zambia Social Forum (ZAMSOF), Zambia
  • Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), Zimbabwe
  • Indonesia for Global Justice, Indonesia
  • Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation (MSN), Malaysia
  • Perkumpulan INISIATIF Indonesia (PI), Indonesia
  • Madhyam, India
  • SEKNAS FITRA, Indonesia
  • Aksi! for gender, social and ecological justice, Indonesia
  • Jubileo 2000 Red Ecuador, Ecuador
  • Forum Solidaridad Perú (FSP), Peru
  • Instituto Popular de Capacitación (IPC), Colombia
  • Fundación SES, Argentina
  • Centro de los Derechos del Campesinado (CEDECAM), Nicaragua
  • INESC, Brazil
  • Foro Social de la Deuda externa y Desarrollo de Honduras (FOSDEH), Honduras
  • Red Nicaragüense de Comercio Comunitario (RENICC), Nicaragua
  • Instituto Justiça Fiscal, Brazil
  • Jubilee Australia, Australia


Read the full letter