As the more lethal and contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 rips across the globe, the prospects of multilateral efforts to combat the virus, tackle the looming global debt crisis and mount a sustainable economic recovery are dim. Nowhere is the insufficiency of the multilateral response more apparent than on the issue of debt relief.
The DSSI has been criticised for failing to compel all creditors to participate. Of 73 eligible LICs, only 45 beneficiary countries have sought to suspend debt payments to official bilateral creditors. Since only a limited scope of debt service is covered, deferred debt service through July 2021 totalled only US$4.6 billion.