Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar. (UN Photo)
News Americas, UNITED NATIONS, NY, Weds. Sept. 24, 2013: Chairperson of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community and Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, wants the international community to support the regional body’s call for a review of the criteria used by multilateral financial institutions to determine growth by small nations.

She said Small Highly Indebted Middle Income Countries (SHIMICs) in the Caribbean are “being penalized” and not afforded concessional financing because of narrow criteria used by multilateral financial institutions.

PM Persad Bissessar said the use of per capita income to determine a country’s level of development and its need for grant and concessional financing, does not provide the true picture.

“Per capita income is, at best, an arithmetic ratio that does not address levels of poverty, distribution of income, levels of indebtedness, vulnerability, and the capacity to self-generate sustainable economic and social development,” she told the body.

And she urged an immediate review of the criteria used and an early review of the economic and financial situation of graduated small highly indebted middle income countries, towards developing programmes for the orderly resolution of their debt overhang, without compromising the future growth prospects of these states.

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