African countries ask for moratorium extension ‘until 2021’

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AFRICAN nations came out swinging during the United Nations General Assembly, calling for dramatic fiscal measures, in order to help economies survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

African countries estimate they need annual support of $100bn for the next three years, pointing out it is only a fraction of the trillions of dollars some richer countries are using to revive their economies.

They have also asked that the current moratorium in effect be further extended.

‘I take this opportunity to commend the efforts made by the members of the G-20, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the context of the initiative for the suspension of debt servicing. I would call on the African Union to continue its efforts to attain this moratorium to 2021,’ said Amadou Ba, Senegal Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Several countries have said maintaining the debt moratorium until 2021 was necessary, claiming debt cancellation is needed to free up more resources to tackle the virus and its effects, which includes the fight against other deadly diseases like malaria and HIV/AIDS.

Alongside Senegal, Niger and Côte d’Ivoire also expressed their concerns. Cote d’Ivoire President Ouattara stated that the fight against Covid-19 and its economic effects has represented around 5 percent of the West African country’s GDP.

One of the world’s fastest-growing economies before the pandemic, Cote d’Ivoire hopes to obtain further international support to get its economy back on track.

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