Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Olivia Engling, Communications and Operations Manager, olivia@jubileeusa.org

Press Release

Most Countries to Lose a Decade of Development Progress says United Nations as Global COVID Crisis Continues

Debt increased by $500 billion for developing countries in first year of pandemic.
WASHINGTON -

Poor countries will lose a decade of development and face slow economic recovery according to United Nations analysis. Developing countries will lose $12 trillion through 2025 because they lack vaccines and the resources that wealthy countries use to stimulate their economies.

“The economic and health crisis is getting worse in most countries,” said Eric LeCompte, a UN finance expert and head of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “Developing countries need vaccines and more resources to confront the pandemic. Without more aid, there is little chance that poor countries can meet development goals."

According to the flagship report from the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development, developing country debt increased during the crisis. From 2019 to 2020, developing country debt increased while sales from their exported products fell.

“Debt relief must move more quickly and must include all developing countries mired in this crisis,” noted LeCompte. "Developing countries that are categorized as middle-income countries, face the worst extreme poverty increases and job losses because of the pandemic. Unfortunately, these countries are currently left out of processes to cut their debts."

The G20 agreed to suspend debt payments for 73 of the poorest countries through December and created a process for the same countries to reduce debt. The G20 Common Framework debt relief process excludes most developing middle-income countries.

The report welcomed the August creation of $650 billion in emergency reserve currency, also known as Special Drawing Rights, to fight the pandemic. At the same time, the UN agency warned that the resources fall short of the current needs of developing countries. More than $230 billion of the reserve funds reached developing countries.

The United Nations report concludes that more aid, debt relief and changes to the financial system are needed for most countries.

“After the 2008 financial crisis world leaders worked on crisis resolutions tools to make the financial system more stable. Unfortunately, we failed to implement those tools, the tools that may have limited or prevented the current crisis," stated LeCompte. "Now we face a greater economic crisis and we must implement strong crisis resolution tools to help solve the current crisis and prevent the next one."

UNCTAD members meet on October 3-7, hosted by Barbados, to adopt its next four-year work plan.

Read the 2021 UNCTAD report here.

Read Jubilee USA's statement on the creation of Special Drawing Rights here.

###

Jubilee USA Network is an interfaith, non-profit alliance of religious, development and advocacy organizations. We are 75 U.S. institutions and more than 750 faith groups working across the United States and around the globe. We address the structural causes of poverty and inequality in our communities and countries around the world.

'Enough is Enough': Hundreds of Thousands March Across the UK

'As wages fall while profits soar, our message is clear... We are here to win.'

Common Dreams staff ·


California Gov. Newsom Proposes Windfall Profits Tax on Big Oil

Calls for windfall profits taxes have increased globally in recent weeks

Common Dreams staff ·


'Incredible': Omar and Khanna Staffers Join Levin's Office in Unionizing

"It is long past time the United States Congress became a unionized workplace, and that includes my own staff," said Rep. Ilhan Omar. "I am proud of all the people on my team who have played a leading role in the staff unionization effort. Solidarity forever."

Jessica Corbett ·


Destructive Hurricanes Fuel Calls for Biden to Declare Climate Emergency

"Mother Nature is not waiting for the president or Congress to declare a climate emergency. She's showing us in real-time here in the United States—with wildfires, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, and drought."

Jessica Corbett ·


Spain Approves 'Solidarity' Tax to Make Nation's Top 0.1% Pay a Fairer Share

The country's finance minister said that looming changes are bound to make the tax code "more progressive, efficient, fair, and also enough to guarantee social justice and economic efficiency."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo