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Anjum Shabbir
15th April 2020
Covid-19 External Relations & Trade

World leaders call for an urgent debt moratorium and unprecedented health and economic aid packages

Leaders from the EU institutions, Member States, and African countries have made a call for worldwide cooperation and assistance to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, expressing the concern that if the pandemic hits Africa hard, that this will prolong the crisis globally.

The call made is for an international effort to:

  • Provide full support to be provided to Africa by its partners,
  • Boost Africa’s emergency health response capacity by providing immediate support to its public health systems,
  • Welcome the EU’s initiative for a pledging conference to be held in May,
  • Draw up a huge economic stimulus package of at least $100bn,
  • Encourage the World Bank, the IMF, the African Development Bank, the New Development Bank and other regional institutions to use all available instruments and to revisit access policies and quota limitations so that low income countries can fully benefit from their support,
  • Apply an immediate moratorium on all bilateral and multilateral debt payments until the pandemic has passed,
  • Consider an ambitious humanitarian initiative for Africa,
  • Create a pan-African scientific and political mechanism that will coordinate African expertise with the global response led by the World Health Organization, and ensure a fair allocation of tests, treatments and vaccines as they become available,
  • Devise a joint action plan (by the WHO, World Bank, ADB and other relevant health organisations — particularly the Global Fund, Gavi and Unitaid).

The signatories include:

President of the European Commission;

President of the European Council;

Prime Minister of Italy;

President of France;

Chancellor of Germany;

Prime Minister of Portugal;

Prime Minister of The Netherlands;

Prime Minister of Spain;

African Union Commission Chair;

Prime Minister of Ethiopia;

President of Rwanda;

President of Mali;

President of Kenya;

President of Angola;

President of Senegal;

President of South Africa;

President of Egypt;

President of Democratic Republic of Congo


To view the statement, click here.


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