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To finance development, many poor countries have to take recourse to external loans. By itself this is not bad or dangerous because the debt can be used to , f. i., invest in infrastructure, raising the output of the economy.

But if loans are taken and given without considering the economic capacity of the debtor, the repayment could become a problem. In the 1970s and 1980s this led to the so called “Third World Debt Crisis”. Today we can observe a similar trend: Poor countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America have comparatively easy access to fresh money because low interest rates in the Global North make investments in the Global South very attractive.

Rules for responsible borrowing and lending are important since they make clear, that creditor and debtor share responsibility for the success of the lending operation.

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  • 22.3.2021

    Out now: Global Sovereign Debt Monitor 2021

    The coronavirus pandemic has further exacerbated the debt crisis in the Global South. Countries with low to middle incomes, whose economies were already unstable, are the most affected of all by the effects of recession, and their debt servicing ability has been substantially weakened. Download the full report here. At…

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  • 30.12.2020

    New educational material on sovereign debt and climate change

    As part of our 2020 campaign "Climate justice needs debt relief", erlassjahr.de produced four new educational activities on the complex topic of sovereign debt and climate change, targeted at pupils in secondary education (age 16 to 19). The activities complement the brochure "Debt crises affect people" (activities 1-12), published in…

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