Eighteen organisations from the UK and Global South have written to British Minister for International Development Justine Greening calling for support for a range of measures to prevent debt crises from recurring.
The letter warns that:
“current levels of lending to developing countries threatens a repeat of the ‘Third World’ debt crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, and that a new round of debt crises across the developing world would significantly increase poverty and inequality and set back progress towards sustainable development.”
The 18 organisations call for a range of measures from the UK government to help prevent this from happening, including:
1) Reject calls to restart UK bilateral aid loans, and shift aid money away from sources which give loans, such as World Bank loan funds, towards sources which give grants
2) Require all lenders funded by the UK, including UK Export Finance, the World Bank and IMF, to sign up to responsible lending guidelines, including opening loan terms to public scrutiny before contracts are signed
3) Support the current process at the United Nations to create a fair, transparent and independent process for resolving sovereign debt crises
4) Introduce policies to support developing countries in increasing their tax revenues, including by preventing the loss of revenue through tax avoidance and evasion
Signatories to the letter include the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (Afrodad), the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (Zambia), Justicia Ambiental (Mozambique), CADTM-Pakistan, Kenyan Debt Relief Network, Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development and Réseau National Dette et Développement, RNDD-Niger.
The signatories from the UK are Action Aid, All We Can: Methodist Relief and Development, Christian Aid, Health Poverty Action, Jubilee Debt Campaign, National Justice and Peace Network, Share The World’s Resources, Tearfund, War on Want, World Development Movement and the UK Aid Network.