G-20 Prepares Coronavirus Rescue Package for Africa

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Addis Ababa, April 2/2020( ENA) A group of G-20 leaders are preparing an international response to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in Africa, African officials and European diplomats disclosed.

The rescue package would include debt relief and financial support for African countries to contain the spread of the virus.

It is to be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed proposed a 150 billion USD emergency financing package for Africa to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“A comprehensive package supported by countries including France and Italy would incorporate recent demands from President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, who have called on the world’s most industrialized countries to support the continent through the economic downturn caused by the pandemic,” it was indicated.

African countries are demanding that rich countries to waive all interest payments on Africa’s debt obligations and provide immediate cash injections through the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank.

“Solidarity during these unprecedented times in our history does not refer to vague gestures of sympathy, but actual cooperation,” said Ebba Kalondo, spokesperson for the chairperson of the African Union.

Last week, the G-20 agreed to inject 5 trillion USD into the global economy and noted the “serious risks” posed to Africa due to its health systems and economies being less able to cope.

While work is underway in several European capitals on a proposal to the G-20 specifically targeted at Africa, a detailed support package is likely to be slowed by the ongoing crises engulfing Europe and the U.S., three senior EU diplomats and two African government advisers said.

“The current ideas being discussed hinge on the implementation of the G-20 communiqué, we requested the language on Africa that’s in it,” according to a French official.