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Breaking the cycle of debt in Small Island Developing States

Working paper

Written by Gail Hurley, Vikrant Panwar, Emily Wilkinson, Courtney Lindsay, Matthew Bishop, Elvira Mami

Image credit:Secretary-General visits Antigua and Barbuda to survey hurricane damage in 2017. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The climate crisis is exacerbating debt sustainability challenges in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). With projections of increasing loss and damage in SIDS due to both extreme weather and slow-onset events, these debt problems are likely to continue and intensify.

The main working paper provides useful insights for all stakeholders gathering at the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) in Antigua and Barbuda from 27 to 30 May 2024 and sets out priorities for financing resilient prosperity in SIDS over the next 10 years. The objective of the study is to understand why levels of debt are particularly high in (some) SIDS, the challenges that this presents, and the different practices and policies that they have adopted to pursue – and attain – debt sustainability.

The main paper is accompanied by case studies of: Antigua and Barbuda, Tonga, Jamaica, Cabo Verde and Solomon Islands.

Gail Hurley presented the initial draft of this paper at the SIDS Future Forum in March 2024. Timestamp 1:36:31

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SIDS Future Forum Day 1 Block 1