Island Nations demand action on Debt and Concessional Financing

2022-10-14 AOSIS Download PDF

Topic: Sustainable Development

Island Nations demand action on Debt and Concessional financing during
IMF-World Bank Meetings
WASHINGTON DC 14TH October, 2022 – The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the OECD-DAC convened their first ever joint Ministerial Level Meeting during the annual IMF-World Bank Fall Meetings in Washington on Friday 14th October to discuss solutions to the unsustainable debt crisis currently plaguing small islands around the world.
Studies show that the socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with worsening climate impacts, have negatively affected Small Island Developing States (SIDS) worse than any other country grouping. However because most SIDS are classified as ‘middle-income’, they do not qualify for debt relief from the IMF, or benefit from the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) provided by rich countries. ODA is managed by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Chair of the DAC, Ms Susanna Morehead, admitted that more must be done to address the unique vulnerabilities of small islands.
”I would like to see a package of measures by 2024 that address the economic climatic resilience issues, the need to improve the effectiveness and impact of ODA, and the issue of vulnerability.”
She called for a joint taskforce of AOSIS and DAC members to develop this ‘package’ in the lead up to the 4th International SIDS Conference to be hosted by Antigua and Barbuda.
Hon. EP Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration of Antigua and Barbuda declared that it will be a “Conference of Action”. One concrete measure he urged the DAC to implement in advance of 2024 was the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index or MVI – a new diagnostic tool being developed by the UN that could complement income as the sole criteria for ODA qualification.
“If we fail on this multilateral process of the MVI, then we would have failed to rescue SIDS from the burden of a system that produces unintended consequences for the most vulnerable,” he warned.
Other “low hanging fruits” highlighted by the countries gathered include simplified processes to access climate finance, standard natural hazard clauses for debt suspension and de-risking of climate investment projects.
The United Kingdom’s Minister for International Development, the Hon. Vicky Ford, thanked the islands for their advocacy and assured that their voices were being heard.
“What we need now is a very clear response from the international community on how we will help confront these challenges facing SIDS. There really is no time to waste.”


About AOSIS:
Since 1990, AOSIS has represented the interests of the 39 small island and low-lying coastal developing states in international climate change, sustainable development negotiations and processes. As a voice for the vulnerable, its mandate is more than amplifying marginalised voices as it also advocates for these countries’ interests. In terms of size, AOSIS closely resembles the countries it represents on the global stage, but often punches far above its weight, negotiating historic global commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions, among other achievements.

Media Contact:
Bianca Beddoe | Communications Advisor

Sub Topic: Macroeconomics