Just like what happened in Africa where countries were given debt forgiveness in lieu of revised economic plans, there has to be new policy for debt forgiveness put on the agenda so that a number of Caribbean countries can invest in education and long-term economic development programme,” said O’Brien.
“Many of the countries in the Caribbean have little or no growth and nearly half of their government budget is being spent on interest and capital to foreign lenders.”
He continued; “The joint IMF-World Bank African HIPC (heavily indebted poor countries) debt-relief initiative needs to be rolled out in eight Caribbean states immediately. This would result in a number of Caribbean states removing a debt burden it cannot manage. To date, in Africa, US$75 billion of debt has been relieved. A similar programme needs to be urgently implemented across eight Caribbean countries.”
The UN Conference on Small Island Developing States runs until Thursday.