Developing countries face ‘impossible trade-off’ on debt: UNCTAD chief

Barbados PM Mia Mottley addresses a meeting on Implementation of the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection at UN Headquarters. (Photo via UN)

(United Nations News) Spiralling debt in low and middle-income countries has compromised their chances of sustainable development, the head of UN trade facilitation agency UNCTAD has warned.

Speaking in Geneva, Rebeca Grynspan said that between 70 and 85 per cent of the debt that emerging and low-income countries are responsible for, is in a foreign currency.

This has left them highly vulnerable to the kind of large currency shocks that hit public spending – precisely at a time when populations need financial support from their governments.

Ms. Grynspan – speaking at the 13th UNCTAD Debt Management Conference – explained that so far this year, at least 88 countries have seen their currencies depreciate against the powerful US dollar, which is still the reserve currency of choice for many in times of global economic stress.

And in 31 of these countries, their currencies have dropped by more than 10 per cent.

Read more at: United Nations News

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