With concern growing about the stability of the global financial system, and the end of an unprecedented period of low interest rates now in sight, this is needed more than ever.

There is a clear need for a new approach to resolving sovereign debt problems which is comprehensive, systematic, fair and transparent and above all, just.

This report is the last in a series from the Jubilee research programme — one of the official successors to the Jubilee 2000 debt campaign — at NEF designed to stimulate progress towards a comprehensive and fair treatment of the crisis of sovereign debt of some of the world’s poorest nations.

With concern growing about the stability of the global financial system, and the end of an unprecedented period of low interest rates now in sight, this is needed more than ever. There is a clear need for a new approach to resolving sovereign debt problems which is comprehensive, systematic, fair and transparent and above all, just. As Debt relief as if justice mattered shows:

  • Some countries are spending more than twice their education and health budgets on debt service. For example, Lebanon spends 52 per cent of its government budget on debt service compared to 23 per cent on health and education combined.
  • Six times the level of debt relief currently available under global initiatives to reduce the debt of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) is needed if all countries are to achieve debt sustainability — a level of debt that protects government spending needed to meet basic human development needs as well as not taxing those people who already live below the poverty line. Debt relief as if justice mattered gathers together, and updates, research previously published by the Jubilee Research programme at nef, and makes the case for a comprehensive new approach for debt relief for the world’s most indebted nations.”