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Overcoming the debt trap and promoting responsible borrowing to improve investment on children - Policy Brief

Borrowing is one way of financing public investments in children. It is thus not necessarily a bad thing to do. However, if not done prudently, it can result in an unsustainable debt burden that negatively affects children. Sub-Saharan Africa for example spends approximately $13.5 billion every year on debt repayments. The funding gap for achieving universal primary education by 2015 is 15 billion a year.

Heavy debt burdens can leave governments with little fiscal space to increase spending on children. Therefore, whilst governments should exploit borrowing opportunities to improve investment in children, they should do so within sustainable and accountable frameworks.

This policy brief introduces debt relief, debt management, and its affects on children's wellbeing. It also provides recommendations on how nations can approach these topics while keeping child rights and children's wellbeing in focus.

Published 2014-09-24

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