Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed has called for coordinated response to tackle the potential threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) to the economies of African countries.
He submitted a proposal for consideration during the upcoming Extraordinary G-20 Leaders’ Summit, scheduled to take place on Thursday to discuss ways to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on global economy.
“COVID-19 poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries. Our economies, fragile and vulnerable even in the best of times, will face serious shocks following this crisis,” said the Prime Minister.
A dramatic decline in exports, disruption of global chains, and the sudden drying up of travel and tourism are sure to wreak havoc to Africa’s economies, he said.
These challenges, according to the Prime Minister, cannot be adequately addressed by policies and measures taken individually by any one country or group of countries. They require a globally coordinated response.
To safeguard the commendable progress registered in Africa against reversal induced by the pandemic, Ethiopia proposed an Africa global COVID-19 emergency financing package of $150 billion from the World Bank.
It also called for support to the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen public health delivery and emergency preparedness in Africa.
It further proposed all interest payment to government loans and part of the debt of low-income countries to be written off.