Devex Associate Editor Adva Saldinger on COVID-19 and the debt crisis. Via YouTube.

WASHINGTON — Concerns about a looming debt crisis that had been growing in the past couple years have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As countries scramble to find the funds to address the health response and the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis, they are often constrained by how much they have to pay to service their debt obligations. In some countries, debt payments amount to more than their spending on health or education.

While both the International Monetary Fund and the G-20 recently announced some debt relief through the end of the year, development advocates say it will not be enough to address either the immediate needs in response to the crisis or the broader systemic problems.

In this video explainer, Devex looks at why debt is important to financing development, where things stand, and how the current system to address debt issues works.

About the authors

  • Adva Saldinger

    Adva Saldinger is an Associate Editor at Devex, where she covers the intersection of business and international development, as well as U.S. foreign aid policy. From partnerships to trade and social entrepreneurship to impact investing, Adva explores the role the private sector and private capital play in development. A journalist with more than 10 years of experience, she has worked at several newspapers in the U.S. and lived in both Ghana and South Africa.
  • Naomi Mihara

    Naomi Mihara is a Video Journalist for Devex, based in Barcelona. She has a background in journalism and international development, having previously worked as an assistant correspondent for Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and as a communications officer for the International Organization for Migration in Southeast Asia. She holds a master's degree in multimedia journalism from Bournemouth University.