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This blog entry also appeared on the Huffington Post.
As the global economic crisis spread throughout the developing world in 2008, some of us waited for the next unfortunate phase for poor, debt vulnerable countries - the resumption of massive IMF lending. This is a movie that we’ve seen many times before. And we know the ending. Sadly, it’s less of a Hollywood ending and more of a Parisian tragedy.
It didn’t take long to get the IMF engine roaring.
Low-income countries with high levels of debt face a dilemma when considering new financing. Additional funding is needed to meet key development objectives, but too much new financing in the form of debt can exacerbate debt problems. Countries that borrow too much – even on concessional IDA terms – can quickly find themselves facing rapidly rising debt ratios that could threaten debt sustainability in the future.