This Caribbean Leader Says Region Needs Debt Relief To Avoid “Disorderly Unravelling”

mia-mottley
Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley in Nairobi, Kenya in Dec. 2019. (Photo by TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)
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News Americas, GENEVA, Switzerland, Tues. May 18, 2020: A Caribbean head of state warned Monday that without debt relief for the region, there could be a “disorderly unravelling” that will create a crisis both within countries and the global financial system.

Barbados Prime Minister and chair of the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM), Mia Mottley, in a virtual address to the World Health Organization’s 73rd annual assembly, said that Caricom states need a restructuring of debt or a debt moratorium to “provide certainty to both borrower and lender” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many countries will either have an orderly restructuring of debt, or at the very least a debt moratorium that provides certainty for both the borrower and the lender, or they will have a disorderly unravelling that will create a crisis, both within their respective countries and within the global financial markets,” she stated.

The PM again stated that there was a need for a global leadership initiative, rooted in moral leadership that would finally recognize that the use of historic per capita income to determine access to concessional or grant funds, or to determine fair access to the procurement of goods was unacceptable.

“Equitable access and fair allocation of resources will allow our small states, particularly middle-income ones, dependent on travel to be able to have access to increased supplies for testing, such that we can reopen our societies safely to intra-regional travel, and thereafter to extra-regional travel,” she said. “But it will also better allow us to ensure that there is a return to safe work, by safe people, the least vulnerable people to COVID-19 in our countries.”

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