World Economic Outlook: Eurodad warns that new debt crises could derail the sustainable development goals


The new World Economic Outlook released today indicates that the world economic situation is deteriorating. Many poor countries have already been struck by debt crises.

Eurodad, a major network of European civil society organisations working on development finance, warns that progress against the sustainable development goals could be derailed or even reversed. Poverty and inequality could rise, if no counter measures are taken.

"High debt levels became a key constraint for spending on infrastructure projects and public goods in poor countries. Every euro that goes to creditors is a euro that does not go to poverty eradication and sustainable development," said Bodo Ellmers, Head of Policy at Eurodad, at the report’s launch today.

"Governments meet for IMF Spring Meetings in Washington this week. Next week they convene at the UN Financing for Development Forum in New York. These are crucial opportunities to make decisions and to take the necessary steps to avoid new debt crises. We need better institutions to solve debt crises in a fair, speedy and sustainable manner.

"The IMF needs to do more to ensure that their programs do no harm to the poor. When a crisis strikes, IMF loans are often the last resort for affected countries. But they come with harsh austerity and adjustment conditions attached. The IMF conditionality review that takes place while the Spring Meetings are ongoing should be used to ensure that IMF programmes respect democracy and human rights. We also call on the IMF to conduct Human Rights Impact Assessments of all its programs," Ellmers concluded.