The Miami Herald interviewed Eric LeCompte on coronavirus impacts on the economy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.
Coronavirus could push Latin America, Caribbean into deepest recession since 1930s
But the only country in the region that might benefit from that measure is Haiti, said Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert and director of the Jubilee USA Network, a religious development group that has been a longtime advocate for debt forgiveness.
“Many of the Latin American and Caribbean countries don’t qualify for any type of debt relief measure because they are considered too wealthy,” LeCompte said. “We’d like to see it extended to Ecuador, Bolivia, Grenada, Jamaica and other countries that could benefit from a debt standstill but need even more relief.”
And even what might be offered to Haiti isn’t enough, donors said, given the nation’s fragile economic state. During a recent emergency meeting of the CARICOM bloc of Caribbean countries, leaders agreed to lobby the G20 and international finance institutions for full-fledged debt write-offs and emergency funding for the rest of the Caribbean.
Also this month, the International Monetary Fund began offering below-market-rate emergency loans that might allow some countries to bolster health services or provide U.S.-style stimulus packages to keep workers employed. For many nations it’s simply piling debt on top of unsustainable debt, LeCompte said, but “it’s better than nothing.”
Read more here.