COVID-19: Obasanjo, Okonjo-Iweala solicit $44bn debt relief for Africa

COVID-19: Obasanjo, Okonjo-Iweala solicit $44bn debt relief for Africa

- Coronavirus is indeed having its toll on third world countries like those in Africa

- In light of this, G-20 countries have been asked to waive about $44 billion debt owed by Africa

- The call was made by Olusegun Obasanjo and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former managing director of the World Bank

The G-20 countries have been asked by former president Olusegun Obasanjo for a $44 billion debt relief for African countries as a way of helping them to cope with the economic ordeals imposed on them by coronavirus.

Obasanjo was also joined by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former managing director of the World Bank and about 100 global leaders in the call to the world powers.

Both Obasanjo and Okonjo-Iweala called for “immediate internationally coordinated action–within the next few days–to address our deepening global health and economic crisis from COVID-19”.

In a letter addressed to the G20 nations, the leaders said the 2008 to 2010 economic hurdle is far less than what has resulted from the pandemic in 2020.

The letter partly read: “In 2008-2010, the immediate economic crisis could be surmounted when the economic fault line- under-capitalization of the global banking system—was tackled,” the letter read.

“Now, however, the economic emergency will not be resolved until the health emergency is effectively addressed: the health emergency will not end simply by conquering the disease in one country alone, but by ensuring recovery from COVID-19 in all countries.”

The duo also asked the international community to waive 2020's poorer countries’ debt repayments, including $44 billion due from Africa.

Earlier, reported that in a bid to assist third world countries over the harsh economic effect of coronavirus, international personalities and presidents of notable nations were mobilising the sum $600 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The world leaders include a former prime minister of the United Kingdom (UK) Gordon Brown and Olusegun Obasanjo.

Alongside global economic leaders, Obasanjo and others made the call for a decisive and concerted global response to the pandemic.

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The move was expected to raise a multi-billion dollar anti-coronavirus fund which will be spear-headed by the G-20 countries.

Aside from making efforts to raise $8 billion emergency global health fund to prevent another wave of the pandemic, the leaders are calling for an agreement by the multilateral finance organizations to waive the debt interest payments for the impoverished regions of the world.

In their projection, they pointed out that not less than $35 billion is needed for ventilators, test kits and protective equipment for health workers who are on field work in the fight to contain the disease. ( -> We have upgraded to serve you better.

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