French banks blamed for new debt crisis in Afraica : Oxfam reports

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French financial institutions have been partly blamed for the new debt crisis affecting the poorest African countries, which despite the global health crisis, remain cornered by their creditors.

This was the focus of the latest report released by non-governmental organization Oxfam dubbed “Financial interest rates, human disinterest: the role of private French financial institutions in the indebtedness of developing countries”.

the report recalls an emergency debt service suspension initiative adopted by the G20 in July 2020 to help some countries focus their resources on the fight against the pandemic. however Oxfam says that this device is limited to “a simple postponement of maturities, without cancellation of the debt”.

According to the report, In the midst of the global health crisis, African countries had to prioritize the healthcare of its citizens.

Ivory Coast had to pay its creditors, between May 2020 and December 2021, “more than its health budget”, despite the Covid-19 crisis and the country’s membership of the ISSD .

Bank loans held by French establishments in ISSD-eligible countries have been “quadrupled since 2010.

BNP Paribas, Société Générale and the Banque Populaire group are among the fifteen global financial institutions that have taken on the largest volume of bond issues in the poor countries eligible for ISSD since January 2011

“They have placed nearly $ 8 billion on the financial markets, on behalf of eight of the poorest countries on the planet,” says the organization.

In the last part of its 30-page report, the NGO sets out its recommendations to deal with the situation described. Among them is the establishment of “a multilateral mechanism for the restructuring of sovereign debts”. In addition, Oxfam calls on France to “force the French private creditors to take their part in the relief to come”. Finally, the organization advocates the establishment of adequate legislation to protect indebted countries against possible legal proceedings launched by private creditors.

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