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Global government debt on the rise again

The Guardian, using data from the World Bank to create an illustrative map of global debt, says the amount of debt developing nations owe to rich governments, international financial institutions, banks or other lenders is on the increase. The story reports:

Years after debt campaigners succeeded in persuading the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and G8 to abolish debts worth billions of dollars owed by developing countries, figures show total external debts are once again on the increase.

This is worrisome for any country, of course, and most of us have heard all about Greece, Spain and other European government debts.

But this trend is especially worrisome for poor countries because, as was demonstrated not that long ago, these kind of debts tend to magnify the difficulties already faced by many poor countries trying to rise out of poverty. As The Guardian quotes economist Jeff Sachs saying, the way this debt collection plays out is as “belt-tightening for people who cannot afford belts.”

Here’s a link to The Guardian’s global map of debt (below is just a screen grab):




About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.