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CSOs Call to International Creditors of Bangladesh Suspend Realizing Debt Instalments during COVID-19

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 (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 and IMF 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:

  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:

  3. Nurul Alam Masud, General Secretary, Food Security Network (KHANI) Bangladesh, Road 8, House 560, Flat 8A, Adabor, Mohammadpur, Dhaka Bangladesh. Email:

  4. Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, Convener, Life and Nature Safeguard Platform (LNSP), Bangladesh Supreme Court Annex Building, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Email:

  5. Rayyan Hassan, Executive Director, NGO Forum on ADB, 85-A Masikap, Diliman, Lungsod Quezon, Kalakhang Maynila, Philippines. Email:


  1., Asia
  2. Aamra – Ek Sachetan Prayas, India
  3. Actionaid Bangladesh
  4. ADAB, Bangladesh
  5. Akhil Bhartiya Prakritik Chikitsha Parishad, India
  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), Bangladesh
  13. Bangladesh Krishak Federation (BKF), Bangladesh
  14. Bangladesh NGO Network for Radio Communication (BNNRC), Bangladesh
  15. Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED), Bangladesh
  16. Beyond Copenhagen Collective, India
  17. BINDU (Best Initiative National Development Unification), Bangladesh
  18. BRICS Feminist Watch, BRICS Countries
  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. Christianaid, 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), India
  35. Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM), International
  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. EnvironicsTrust,India
  44. Equitable Cambodia
  45. Equity 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), India
  61. International Accountability Project (IAP), United States
  62. ISDEBangladesh
  63. Jamaa Resource Initiatives, Kenya
  64. Japan Center for Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), Japan
  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. MarketForces,Australia
  74. MAUSAMTrust,India
  75. NagorikSanghati,Bangladesh
  76. NagorikUddyog,Bangladesh
  77. National Development Programme (NDP), Bangladesh
  78. NGOForumonADB,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, Pakistan
  87. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), Pakistan
  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. Public Services International (National Coordinating Committee), Bangladesh
  95. Recourse, Netherlands
  96. Rivers without Boundaries Coalition, Mongolia
  97. Right to Food Campaign – West Bengal, India
  98. Rural Advancement Society (RAS), Bangladesh
  99. Rural Community Development Society (RCDS), Bangladesh
  100. Safety and Rights Society (SRS), Dhaka, Bangladesh
  1. Saher Welfare Foundation, Pakistan.
  2. Samaj Progoti Sangstha (SPS), Bangladesh
  3. Serikat Nelayan (Indonesia Fisherfolk Union), Indonesia
  4. Socialist Workers Association, Thailand
  5. Society for Environment and Human Development (SEHD), Bangladesh
  6. Society for Participatory Empowerment for Development (SPED), Bangladesh 107. Songshoptaque, Bangladesh
  7. SPEED Trust, Bangladesh
  8. Stiftung Asienhaus, Germany
  9. Suluh Muda Indonesia
  10. Urgewald,Germany
  11. Uttaran, Bangladesh
  12. Verein für sozial-ökologischen Wandel, Germany
  13. VOICE, Bangladesh
  14. Women Action Towards Economic Development (WATED), Thailand
  15. Women Association for Training and Service (WATS), Nepal
  16. Women’s Employment Supporting Federation, Mongolia



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