Credit Crunch Fallout Hits Weakest Nations Hardest
Platt, Gordon, Global Finance
The low-income developing countries with little prospect of repaying loans are in the greatest need of help as a result of damage from the global financial crisis. These same countries, however, are unlikely to benefit from increased lending by the International Monetary Fund, as agreed by the Group of 20 in May.
The global financial crisis already has taken a big bite out of investment flows to developing countries. Total private capital flows last year fell to $707 billion from $1.2 trillion in 2007. This year they will drop to $363 billion, approximately the level of 2004, according to the World Bank.
"Developing countries will most likely face a dismal external financing climate in 2009," the bank says in its Global Development Finance report. With private capital flows expected to plummet, many countries "will have dif- ficulty meeting their external financing needs, estimated to total $1 trillion for this year, it says. Private debt and equity flows will likely fall short of meeting needs by a wide margin, the report adds. …