Jamaica is being urged to take the lead in mobilizing countries to re-negotiate debt relief with the International Monetary Fund and other lending agencies.

Senior Lecturer and Head of the Hugh Shearer Labour Studies Institute at the UWI Open Campus, Danny Roberts says this should form part of a global response to fast-track recovery arising from the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the labour market.

He said this would prove to be a much better option for Jamaica than the withdrawal of the $57-billion dollars from the National Housing Trust to help cushion the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Roberts said that Jamaica’s debt to the IMF stands at over $750-million.

He says under the criteria established by the Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust Jamaica would not qualify for debt relief based on the level of its per capita income.

He however argued that the conditions should be different under the Covid pandemic and a country’s debt to GDP ratio should be used as the qualifying criterion.

Danny Roberts, Senior Lecturer and Head of the Hugh Shearer Labour Studies Institute at the UWI Open Campus.