U.S. President-Elect Biden Must Help Create IMF Conditions Allowing LMICs To Address Pandemic Without Creating Debt, Opinion Piece Says

Devex: Opinion: How U.S. President-elect Biden can address the looming debt crisis in LMICs
Martin Edwards, associate professor at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University

“U.S. President-elect Joe Biden moves into the Oval Office with a lengthy international economic policy agenda. Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the specter of an international debt crisis looms in the coming months, as about half of low-income countries are already in debt distress or at high risk of it. … In order for the president-elect to firmly address this challenge, there is a need for bolder thinking. … The new common framework from the G-20 group of leading economies proposes restructuring debts on a case-by-case basis rather than a broader across-the-board solution. These incremental solutions merely postpone a larger reckoning. Our responsibility is to ensure that low- and middle-income countries, or LMICs, have the same tools that high-income countries have, allowing them to fight the pandemic with greater liquidity. … For its part, the G-20 needs to expand the fund’s resources to fight this crisis. LMICs need more concessional aid, not more conditionality. … The need for bold action is urgent. More than 60 countries already are paying more for debt service than for health spending. … It will be up to the president-elect to create the proper conditions internationally for all governments to combat the pandemic at home” (12/1).

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