ICC calls for comprehensive emergency debt relief | Daily News

ICC calls for comprehensive emergency debt relief

John Denton
John Denton

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the institutional representative of over 45 million businesses, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) a movement of engaged citizens who use their collective voice to end extreme poverty by 2030, in an open letter issued yesterday, have urged G20 Finance Ministers to be bold in updating their Action Plan at this week’s meeting.

The letter builds on earlier interventions in April and July, which called for a comprehensive package of debt relief to support the most vulnerable, and notes the highly uneven and uncertain path forward for the global economy and the Sustainable Development Goals.

ICC Secretary General, Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary John W.H. Denton, and Chief Policy and Government Affairs Officer of Global Citizen Michael Sheldrick, said: “It is apparent that the G20 Action Plan agreed in April, while laudable in its intentions, is rapidly becoming insufficient to protect the real economy from long-term scarring. In this connection, we are deeply concerned about the growing impact of the pandemic on young people in developing economies – with new interventions urgently needed to mitigate the effects of school closures and tackle rising child mortality rates.”

The letter also notes troubling statistics across the social, labour and economic dimensions of the crisis, including that 110–150 million people risk falling into extreme poverty by 2021, 34 million jobs have been lost this year in Latin America and the Caribbean alone, and some 54% of small and medium-sized enterprises in least developed countries anticipate having to permanently close their business within the next six months absent a significant increase in either demand or emergency financial support.

At a minimum, the package should include: Extending the suspension of debt payments to April 30, 2022, commensurate with the anticipated economic uncertainty and scarring caused by the pandemic; Broadening the scope of the DSSI to encompass lower-middle and middle-income countries, based on their health and debt vulnerabilities; Replenishing the IMF Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), to cover all Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust loan repayments through April 2022; Creating and funding mechanisms at the Multilateral Development Banks modelled on the IMF CCRT, covering—at a minimum—repayments owed by IDA and IDA-blend countries through April 2022.

ICC global is represented in Sri Lanka by ICCSL.