Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley is calling for the COVID-19 debt of vulnerable countries to be addressed with new and flexible instruments that would not hobble their development after the pandemic.
She made the call today while addressing a virtual roundtable on SIDS Access to Finance – Identifying Solutions for Resilience.
Ms. Mottley said the instrument must not “leave a lasting scar on our debt to GDP figures that would depress growth and development for a generation”.
She added: “Once a financial crisis sets in, then the social implosion starts and it takes a generation to recover from a social implosion while a recovery from a debt crisis appropriately managed can happen within years.”
Ms. Mottley suggested that there should be COVID-linked financial instruments where the payback obligations followed the country’s medical and economic recovery.
“This is a critical part of our agenda that we hope to follow in the development committee of the World Bank and the IMF for the next two years.
“Refining a financial architecture with new flexible instruments that deliver the development finance needed today, and supports responsible, resilient inclusive growth,” she underlined.
The Prime Minister said she is optimistic that there will be some positives out of any crisis, since it was out of crises that major financial reform is born.
However, she said countries have an opportunity to pull themselves from the edge of the lost decade and to ensure that true progress can be made in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
“Let us join in an effort to recover the lost ground. The moment is now…the time for talking is simply over. It is time for us to act in the interest of lives that those countries whose gross national income per capita is over US $1,185.”
Ms. Mottley said the region, just like countries in the pacific, were exposed to international contagion and were “least able to respond”.