Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has urged G20 leaders to help Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis by facilitating debt relief and providing $150 billion in emergency funding.
According to Abiy, the pandemic poses an existential threat to the economies of African Countries.
A section of African countries are faced with heavy debt burdens which leaves them unable to respond to pandemic-related economic shocks.
“Just as the virus knows no borders, our responses should also know no borders,” the statement read.
Last week Saudi Arabia called for a “virtual” summit to coordinate an international reponse to the COVID-19 crisis.
After a few weeks of a Corona free Africa, Corona virus infected cases have risen in the recent days and Experts have warned that the coronavirus could quickly overwhelm weak African health systems.
African economies will also be vulnerable in the face of “a dramatic decline in exports, disruption of global chains, and the sudden drying up of travel and tourism,” Abiy’s statement said.
The proposed $150-billion (138-billion-euro) aid package could include budgetary support from the World Bank and crisis financing from the International Monetary Fund, the statement said.
To alleviate African debt burdens, Abiy proposed that interest payments on government loans “should be written off” and that “part of the debt of low-income countries should be written off.”
Abiy’s proposal comes one day after African finance ministers called for $100 billion in “immediate emergency economic stimulus” including the waiver of debt interest payments..