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COVID and the Looming Debt Crisis

What the Experts Say: COVID and Children
(Past event)

Event type: Webinar

Related research: Social protection and cash transfers

events1 April 2021time15:00 - 16:00 CET

Time is fast ticking for a looming debt crisis that threatens to decimate decades of progress for children.

The debt crisis is likely to hit two-thirds of the world’s population. Even before the pandemic 1 in 8 countries spent more on debt than on education, health and social spending combined. And African countries are already spending three times more on debt repayments to banks and private lenders than it would cost to vaccinate the entire continent against Covid-19.
So how can this ticking time bomb be defused?

To coincide with the release of an important policy brief from UNICEF on the debt crisis, Leading Minds will ask the expert panelists:
How do we stop mortgaging children’s futures?
Can debt relief measures turn this tide?


  • Hamid Rashid is Chief of Global Economic Monitoring at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Before joining the UN, he served as the Director General for Multilateral Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh.
  • Annalisa Fedelino is Deputy Director in the African Department of the IMF. She is responsible for a set of countries including in the WAEMU region, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She also covers public finance and debt issues in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Joanne Bosworth is Chief of Public Finance and Local Governance Unit in UNICEF’s Programme Division, where she provides technical leadership to UNICEF’s Public Finance for Children portfolio and for the organisation’s work in support of subnational development. 
  • Bob Muchabaiwa is the Public Finance Specialist for UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office. Bob provides technical assistance, policy advice, and capacity building on public financial management, including issues of debt management, to 21 countries in the region.


David Anthony
Chief, Strategic Planning and Convening

UNICEF Innocenti

Sarah Crowe

UNICEF Innocenti

Annalisa Fedelino
Deputy Director in the African Department, IMF
Hamid Rashid
Chief of Global Economic Monitoring, UNDESA
Joanne Bosworth
Chief of Public Finance and Local Governance Unit, UNICEF
Bob Muchabaiwa
Public Finance Specialist, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office


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