Nicaragua External Debt
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
After the Sandinista revolution, first under the provisional junta and later under President Ortega, Nicaragua moved from a historically high dependence on financing from Western nations to high financial dependence on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. By 1990 and the election of President Chamorro, Nicaragua was the most indebted country in Central America, owing close to US$4 billion to the Soviet Union and another US$6 billion to US$8 billion to Western nations and international lending institutions.
As the result of a de facto moratorium on Somoza-contracted debt by the Sandinista government, Nicaragua faced US$350 million in debt arrears in 1990. This debt was owed mostly to international financial institutions, including the World Bank, the IMF, and the IDB. New borrowing was precluded by the old debt and accumulated arrears.
The need to overcome the burden of a growing foreign debt, estimated at US$10.6 billion, drove the Chamorro government's economic program in the 1990s. The Nicaraguan debt, which was owed mostly to governments and the multilateral lending institutions, was still the highest per capita debt in the region. Despite some debt forgiveness since the inauguration of President Chamorro, significant additional debt relief remained an absolute necessity for economic recovery.
Data as of December 1993
NOTE: The information regarding Nicaragua on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Nicaragua External Debt information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Nicaragua External Debt should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.