Rebound or relapse: Debt restructuring in a time of crisis

A crossborder discussion on economic precarity and the impacts of ongoing debt restructuring processes and negotiations with the IMF in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Over the past year, Sri Lanka has often been cited as a case study in economic precarity, and while headlines have been full of stories of poverty and the ongoing protests, there has been less dedicated coverage over next steps. The UN states that at least 5.7 million people within the country require humanitarian aid. With food inflation reaching 85.6 percent in October, 28 percent of the population face moderate to severe food insecurity.

These events have to be set against a global cost of living crisis; with reports of inflation everywhere from Pakistan to the UK, France, Kenya and Nigeria. As food and fuel prices rise, lower-income countries are disproportionately impacted, and the impacts of debt mismanagement become starkly visible.

In this edition of Southasian Conversation, we ask: how should governments negotiate complex debt restructuring processes What do examples from the region, and indeed globally, tell us about navigating debt restructuring, and how will this impact people’s lives in the interim? We at Himal hope this will provide an opportunity to revise these questions and also serve as a platform for an open and timely conversation on what’s next for Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

• Jayati Ghosh (Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism)

• Naomi Hossain (Research professor (specialisation development politics) at the Accountability Research Centre)
• Ahilan Kadirgamar (A senior lecturer at the University of Jaffna)
• Farooq Tariq (A leader of the Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee)
• Chamila Thushari (Programme Coordinator with the Dabindu Collective)

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