CSOs Call to International Creditors of Bangladesh

Suspend Realizing Debt Installments during COVID-19 Distress

10 April 2020 by Collective

We the following Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from all over the world, are calling on the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and all bilateral, regional and multilateral development financiers of Bangladesh to suspend the realization of debt instalments for all public debts of developing countries combating the Covid-19 pandemic so that the current crisis is not aggravated.

Countries, irrespective of developed, developing and the Least Developed Countries Least Developed Countries
A notion defined by the UN on the following criteria: low per capita income, poor human resources and little diversification in the economy. The list includes 49 countries at present, the most recent addition being Senegal in July 2000. 30 years ago there were only 25 LDC.
(LDCs), are in a predicament due to the Covid-19 pandemic and are all facing an acute shortage of emergency protective devices and life-saving equipment. Bangladesh’s economy is also severely under stress due to the additional burden of pandemic management while the country has a budget deficit of USD 17.65 billion in the current financial year. Despite the budget deficit, the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has allocated an additional 9.06 billion USD as a bailout to the private sector. The GoB now needs a supplementary amount of USD 8.11 billion to fight Covid-19 in the health sector alone. Another USD 1.7 billion, over and above the national budget, is required for supplying adequate food to 34 million people living below the poverty line. Considering the calamitous situation, GoB needs at least USD 1.5 billion for providing subsidies in agriculture and rural economies dominated by micro, small and marginal (MSM) producers in order to ensure the food security of the country.

We want to urgently bring to your attention that the GoB budget for the current financial year is forced to allocate 6.20 billion USD for servicing external debts to International Financial Institutions. At this critical time if this servicing of public debts are suspended, the GoB will be able to put the amount into serving emergency health, food and agriculture sectors to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. We urge all the multilateral, regional and bilateral financial institutions to follow the suggestions proposed by the World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.

and suspend servicing of the public debts for 2020, so that GoB can free its limited resources and allocate it solely for helping the people in overcoming the Covid-19 challenge.

We therefore strongly demand the suspension of all instalments of public debt for at least the financial year 2020-2021 so that the country can better combat the pandemic and overcome the impact of this disaster on its citizens’ health, food and economic vulnerabilities.


  1. Hasan Mehedi, Member Secretary, Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED), Secretariat: 4 Mallick Bari Road, Boyra-Rayermahal, Khulna 9000, Bangladesh. Email:bwged.bd at gmail.com
  2. Ziaul Hoque Mukta, General Secretary, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), Elite Daisy Paradise, Flat B5, House 839, Road 3, Baitul Aman Housing Society, Adabor, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh. Email:ziaul.mukta at gmail.com
  3. Nurul Alam Masud, General Secretary, Food Security Network (KHANI), Road 8, House 560, Flat 8A, Adabor, Mohammadpur, Dhaka Bangladesh. Email:masud at pranbd.org
  4. Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, Convener, Life and Nature Safeguard Platform (LNSP), Bangladesh Supreme Court Annex Building, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Email:barua_jyotirmoy at yahoo.com
  5. Rayyan Hassan, Executive Director, NGO Forum on ADB, 85-A Masikap, Diliman, Lungsod Quezon, Kalakhang Manila, Philippines. Email:rayyan at forum-adb.org


  1. 350.org, Asia
  2. Aamra - Ek Sachetan Prayas, India
  3. Actionaid Bangladesh
  4. Akhil Bhartiya Prakritik Chikitsha Parishad, India
  5. All Employees Union of Information and Telecommunication, Sri Lanka
  6. AOSED - An Organization for Socio-Economic Development, Bangladesh
  7. Apon Foundation, Bangladesh
  8. Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD)
  9. Association for the Development Agencies of Bangladesh (ADAB), Bangladesh
  10. ATTAC Japan
  11. Bandhan, Bangladesh
  12. Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA)
  13. Bangladesh Krishak Federation (BKF)
  14. Bangladesh NGO Network for Radio Communication (BNNRC)
  15. Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED)
  16. Beyond Copenhagen Collective, India
  17. BINDU (Best Initiative National Development Unification), Bangladesh
  18. BRICS Feminist Watch
  19. Buriganga Banchao Andolan, Bangladesh
  20. Campaign for Good Governance (SUPRO), Bangladesh
  21. Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), Bangladesh
  22. Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED), Philippines
  23. Center for Environment and Participatory Research (CEPR), Bangladesh
  24. Centre for Bangladesh Studies (CBS), Bangladesh
  25. Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ), Sri Lanka
  26. Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), India
  27. Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD), Mongolia
  28. Change Initiative, Bangladesh
  29. Christian Aid, Bangladesh
  30. Civil Society Women Organization (CSWO), India
  31. CLEAN (Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network), Bangladesh
  32. Coalition for Human Rights in Development (CHRD), United States
  33. COAST Trust, Bangladesh
  34. Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM), International
  35. Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM), India
  36. Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM), Pakistan
  37. CoreCarbonX, India
  38. Corporate Accountability, United States
  39. CSOs Network on SDGs, Mongolia
  40. Development Observer NGO Coalition, Mongolia
  41. Development Synergy Institute (DSI), Bangladesh
  42. Digo Bikas Institute, Nepal
  43. Environics Trust, India
  44. Equitable Cambodia
  45. Equity Equity The capital put into an enterprise by the shareholders. Not to be confused with ’hard capital’ or ’unsecured debt’. and Justice Working Group - Bangladesh (EquityBD)
  46. Eurodad (European Network on Debt and Development), Belgium
  47. Europe solidaire sans frontières (ESSF), France
  48. Focus on the Global South, Thailand
  49. Food Security Network (KHANI), Bangladesh
  50. Fresh Eyes, United Kingdom
  51. Friends of the Earth, United States
  52. Gandhi Ashram Trust, Bangladesh
  53. Gandhi International Mission, India
  54. Green Advocates International, Liberia
  55. Green Course, Israel
  56. Growthwatch, India
  57. Harijan Sevak Sangh, India
  58. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
  59. Human Rights Law Network, India
  60. INSAF (Indian Social Action Forum)
  61. International Accountability Project (IAP), United States
  62. ISDE Bangladesh
  63. Jamaa Resource Initiatives, Kenya
  64. Japan Center for Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)
  65. Jatiyo Sramik Jote, Bangladesh
  66. Karavali Karnataka Janabhivridhi Vedike, India
  67. Kendrio Krishak Maitree (KKM), Bangladesh
  68. KRuHA (People’s Coalition for the Right to Water), Indonesia+
  69. Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center - Kasama sa Kalikasan (LRC-KsK), Philippines
  70. Life and Nature Safeguard Platform (LNSP), Bangladesh
  71. LEDARS, Bangladesh
  72. Manthan Law, India
  73. Market Forces, Australia
  74. MAUSAM Trust, India
  75. Nagorik Sanghati, Bangladesh
  76. Nagorik Uddyog, Bangladesh
  77. National Development Programme (NDP), Bangladesh
  78. NGO Forum on ADB, Philippines
  79. Noakhali Rural Development Society (NRDS), Bangladesh
  80. Oil Change International, United States
  81. OnePeople International, Sweden
  82. Online Knowledge Society (OKS), Bangladesh
  83. Oxfam, Bangladesh
  84. Oyu Tolgoi Watch, Mongolia
  85. Paani Committee, Bangladesh
  86. Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee
  87. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF)
  88. Paribartan - Rajshahi, Bangladesh
  89. Participatory Research and Action Network (PRAN), Bangladesh
  90. People’s Forum for Food Sovereignty, Mongolia
  91. Prantojon Trust, Bangladesh
  92. Progoti, Bangladesh
  93. Progressive Plantation Workers Union (PPWU), India
  94. Protect Union, Sri Lanka
  95. Public Services International (National Coordinating Committee), Bangladesh
  96. Recourse, Netherlands
  97. Rivers without Boundaries Coalition, Mongolia
  98. Right to Food Campaign - West Bengal, India
  99. Rural Advancement Society (RAS), Bangladesh
  100. Rural Community Development Society (RCDS), Bangladesh
  101. Safety and Rights Society (SRS), Dhaka, Bangladesh
  102. Saher Welfare Foundation, Pakistan
  103. Samaj Progoti Sangstha (SPS), Bangladesh
  104. Serikat Nelayan (Indonesia Fisherfolk Union), Indonesia
  105. Socialist Workers Association, Thailand
  106. Society for Environment and Human Development (SEHD), Bangladesh
  107. Society for Participatory Empowerment for Development (SPED), Bangladesh
  108. Songshoptaque, Bangladesh
  109. SPEED Trust, Bangladesh
  110. Sri Lanka All Telecommunication Employees Union
  111. Stiftung Asienhaus, Germany
  112. Suluh Muda Indonesia
  113. Telecommunication Engineering Diplomates Association, Sri Lanka
  114. Urgewald, Germany
  115. Uttaran, Bangladesh
  116. Verein für sozial-ökologischen Wandel, Germany
  117. VOICE, Bangladesh
  118. Women Action Towards Economic Development (WATED), Thailand
  119. Women Association for Training and Service (WATS), Nepal
  120. Women’s Employment Supporting Federation, Mongolia


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Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries
OPEP is a group of 11 DC which produce petroleum: Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela. These 11 countries represent 41% of oil-production in the world and own more than 75% of known reserves. Founded in September 1960and based in Vienna (Austria), OPEC is in charge of co-ordinating and unifying the petroleum-related policies of its members, with the aim of guaranteeing them all stable revenues. To this end, production is organized on a quota system. Each country, represented by its Minister of Energy and Petroleum, takes a turn in running the organization. Since 1st July 2002, the Venezuelan Alvaro Silva-Calderon is the Secretary General of OPEC.

OPEC : http://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/
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