World leaders, including Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former managing director of the World Bank, have asked the G-20 countries for a $44 billion debt relief for African countries to tackle the novel coronavirus.
The duo joined over 100 world leaders in demanding “immediate internationally coordinated action–within the next few days–to address our deepening global health and economic crisis from COVID-19″.
In a letter address to the G20 nations, the leaders said the 2008 to 2010 economic crisis is less complicated than the current pandemic seen across the world.
I”n 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 also asked the international community to “waive this year’s poorer countries’ debt repayments, including $44 billion due from Africa, and consider future debt relief to allow poor countries the fiscal space to tackle the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
“We ask the G20 to task the IMF and the World Bank to further assess the debt sustainability of affected countries.”