Debt or Life: Sharing the Global Pandemic Burden and Responsibility
Address: Online event,

10 October 2020

In light of the significant challenges brought on by Covid-19, governments globally have authorised a wide range of interventions to address health and economic shocks. Given these responsive interventions, debt struggles have deepened and concerns have increased despite debt postponements. Risks of financial instability and the burden of debt has limited the fiscal space for developing countries to efficiently respond to the pandemic; creating a false dichotomy between debt or development.

In this session, debt, development and finance specialists will address the impending debt crisis and distress exacerbated by the global pandemic. Panelists will outline several global developments and concerns which have occurred in the area of debt; such as debt relief, debt restructuring, liquidity needs of developing countries, the G20 DSSI extension and a discussion on proposed actions by the #CancelTheDebt movement.

This panel discussion centres around the mounting global debt and the recent developments in the area of debt; interrogating the reality of its burden and its pitfalls in the backdrop of the pandemic. Significantly, it aims to address the role of the international community and steps taken in response to liquidity needs such as debt suspension; discussing the asks of civil society which call for better long-term resolutions to avoid unsustainable debts.

While the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) extension is a temporary solution to the impending crisis; civil society finds that it falls short from addressing larger issues of unsustainable debts which limit highly-indebted poor countries from adequately responding to the pandemic.

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  • Stefano Prato, C20 International Financial Architecture Working Group Chair; Managing Director, Society for International Development (SID)
  • M. Ayhan Kose, Director, World Bank Prospects Group
  • Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt Development
  • Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Director, Jubilee Debt Campaign
  • Jean Letitia Saldanha, Director, Eurodad
  • Bandr Alhomaly, G20 International Financial Architecture Working Group Policy Lead; Senior Adviser, International Monetary Fund

This webinar is being organised with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Eurodad and its partners and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union