Actions and proposals for COVID-19 debt crisis resolution: A summary of the debate

14 October 2021

This paper is an output from the project “Response and Recovery: Mobilising financial resources for development in the time of COVID-19”, which is co-ordinated by the Debt and Development Finance Branch of UNCTAD and jointly implemented with ECA, ECLAC and ESCAP. This project is one of the five UN Development Account short-term projects launched in May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The project aims to enable low-income and middle-income developing countries (LICs and MICs) from Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean to diagnose their macro-financial, fiscal, external financial and debt fragilities in the global context, and design appropriate and innovative policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic leading toward recoveries aligned with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The pandemic brought forward the problems of indebtedness built over the past years, themselves reflections of long-standing, structural patterns in the global economy. The purpose of the policy brief is to summarise the state of the debt debate as it unfolded from the onset of the pandemic to July 2020.