Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Mar 30, 2023

UN Development Chief Raises Alarm Over Debt Distress

UN Development Chief Raises Alarm Over Debt Distress

A top UN official has warned that "urgent" measures are needed to help 52 countries facing debt repayment problems that put some at risk of default.
A top UN official has warned that "urgent" measures are needed to help 52 countries facing debt repayment problems that put some at risk of default.

Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations Development Programme, told AFP that 25 of the 52 were spending more than a fifth of government revenues servicing external debt.

"The situation right now for developing countries when it comes to national debt is indeed very, very serious," Steiner said in an interview on the sidelines of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) summit in Doha on Saturday.

The UN agency estimates that "52 countries are either in debt distress or one step away from debt distress and potential default," he said.

Steiner did not name the countries involved but the UNDP last week released a report which called for a 30 percent write-off of external debt for 52 countries at 2021 values.

The 52 included Argentina, Lebanon and Ukraine alongside 23 countries from sub-Saharan Africa, 10 from Latin America and the Caribbean, and eight from East Asia and the Pacific.

Steiner said "the financial markets are not paying enough attention" as the 52 account for only three percent of global external debt, but one sixth of the world's population.

Development Shocks

Twenty-five countries spending one fifth of government revenues on debt servicing is "not sustainable", he added.

"Therefore, we have called very clearly for urgent ways to inject liquidity while also restructuring and rescheduling debts, because otherwise we may see country after country falling into that territory of debt distress."

On Saturday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres slammed the world's rich countries and energy giants for burdening LDCs with "predatory" interest rates.

Poor nations' debt has multiplied over the past decade because of the coronavirus pandemic, high food and fuel bills and financial crises.

Several have defaulted over the past two years.

Steiner said that African countries such as Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso have lost up to 20 years of development progress amid a rise in political violence and government failures to provide basic services, security, health and education.

He said total debt was difficult to establish as more than 60 percent is owed to private creditors.

"Now you have the war in Ukraine, you have the impact on the global food and energy prices and particularly when it comes to debts, the impact of inflation is driving interest rates up," he said.

Rising fuel costs have caused "a short-term shock" for countries struggling to maintain basic fiscal stability, according to Steiner.

And they face growing pressure to invest in renewable energy and combating climate change, the UN official added.

"Inevitably, the ability of poorer countries and middle-income countries to significantly expand in clean energy infrastructure... is being affected," he said, calling for greater international investment in "clean and affordable electricity" for poorer nations.

Steiner said that energy security has become such a hot international topic in the past two years that he expected an "exponential increase" in investment in clean energy infrastructure in the next five years.
Comments

Oh ya 24 days ago
Strange they did not mention the USA. 125% debt to GDP, 31 Trillion in debt and borrowing money every year because they can not balance the budget. But the countries that were buying government debt are starting to sell it and not buy new debt. When the USA can not sell its bonds the shit will hit the fan for the American people. Pensions and free stuff will disappear. And 2nd name one country that is run by blacks that is not a shit hole, just one

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Close
0:00
0:00
Tsai Ing-wen received a "warm welcome" from the Chinese people in the US.
EU's von der Leyen: "We know this is an era where we rely on one single supplier. China. 98% of our rare earth supply."
China and Brazil have signed a new deal that will allow them to trade in their own currencies, bypassing the US dollar as an intermediary
Elon Musk and Others Call for Pause on A.I., Citing ‘Profound Risks to Society’
“We've had evidence prior to the pandemic that masks were largely ineffective at preventing community transmission of influenza “
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz:
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rejects being labeled a "billionaire"
Jamie Dimon is being deposed over JPMorgan Chase role in Epstein lawsuits
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
Social Media censoring users for saying the true
Smart Iranian fashion designer teaching dummy TV anchors lesson about reality
AMERICA, 2023
U.S. charges FTX's Bankman-Fried with paying $40 million bribe
Fallen 'Crypto King' Who Owes Millions to Investors Was Kidnapped and Tortured
Regulators blame social media for SVB's rapid collapse: 'Complete game changer'
AOC explains why she opposes banning TikTok
Singapore’s Prime Minister says China and US need to stabilize relations because world can't afford a confict between the two superpowers
In a dramatic U-turn against His Government: Judicial Reform Legislation Must Be Halted, Says Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, died at 94
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Bordeaux town hall set on fire in France pro democracy protest
Police violence in Paris
Paris: Some of the police are stepping down and showing solidarity with the protesters.
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Goldman Sachs cuts outlook for European bank debt over Credit Suisse crisis
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
The BBC problem about China
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Announcing GPT-4
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
'No relation to the American SVB': India's SVC Bank acts to calm depositors amid brand name confusion.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
Saudi Arabia has announced a major breakthrough in diplomacy with Iran after two years of intense talks
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
×