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UNDP Global

Sovereign Debt Vulnerabilities in Developing Economies

Apr 1, 2021

The paper analyzes sovereign debt vulnerabilities across 120 developing economies. Country results are summarized and ranked using five vulnerability indicators; credit-ratings, liquidity-risk indicator, solvency-risk indicator, growth in external debt-service burden, and share of external debt owed to private creditors. In total 72 countries are identified as vulnerable, 19 of which severely so. Total external debt service at risk is estimated at a minimum of $598 billion for 2021-2025, $87 billion of which in 2021. One-third of vulnerable countries holding two-thirds of total external debt service at risk are not eligible for the Debt Service Suspension initiative (DSSI) nor for debt treatment under the Common Framework (CF).