May 20, 2020
United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, warns about the danger of the COVID-19 in Africa, both from the disease itself and causing increased levels of poverty.
“It will aggravate long-standing inequalities and heighten hunger, malnutrition and vulnerability to disease. Already, demand for Africa’s commodities, tourism and remittances are declining…. millions could be pushed into extreme poverty
“The U.N. said the low numbers could be linked to minimal testing and reporting, pointing to a World Health Organization warning that the pandemic “could kill between 83,000 and 190,000 people in 47 African countries in the first year, mostly depending on governments’ responses.”
“To help address the devastating economic and social consequences of the pandemic, Guterres said Africa needs more than $200 billion and “an across-the-board debt standstill for African countries” unable to service their debt, “followed by targeted debt relief and a comprehensive approach to structural issues in the international debt architecture to prevent defaults.”
“These are still early days for the pandemic in Africa, and disruption could escalate quickly. Global solidarity with Africa is an imperative – now and for recovering better. Ending the pandemic in Africa is essential for ending it across the world.
“I have been calling for a global response package amounting to at least 10 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product. For Africa, that means more than $200 billion as additional support from the international community.
“I also continue to advocate a comprehensive debt framework — starting with an across-the-board debt standstill for countries unable to service their debt, followed by targeted debt relief and a comprehensive approach to structural issues in the international debt architecture to prevent defaults.”
Read my earlier articles on COVID-19 in Africa:
- World Needs New Economic Platform to Fight COVID-19
- New Economic Order Required to Combat COVID-19 in Africa
Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in the economic development policy of Africa for 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com