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More than a Quarter of All Debt Servicing Payments by Poor Countries will Go to China this Year

Source: World Bank's International Debt Statistics database (last updated 10/10/2021). Note: the char show public and publicly guaranteed debt of DSSI eligible countries.

The world’s poorest countries will pay about $52.8 billion in debt servicing costs this year, of which 26% ($13.7 billion) will go to Chinese lenders, according to a new report released on Monday by the Green Finance and Development Center at Fudan University in Shanghai.

The report, by Mengdi Yue and Christoph Nedopil Wang, shows that China’s lending to developing countries is only outstripped by that of the World Bank’s International Development Association. The collective debt burden facing the world’s 68 low-income countries rose by 12%, to a record $860 billion in 2020. Compared to 2015, the number of these countries showing signs of debt distress has doubled.

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