Africa Seeks IMF, World Bank, EU Backing on Debt Relief
April 2, 2020
African finance ministers want International Monetary Fund, World Bank and EU support for bilateral, multilateral and commercial Debt Relief amid the coronavirus crisis, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) said.
Africa is facing a perfect storm of an impending global economic downturn, plummeting oil and commodity prices and weaker currencies which threaten to imperil its coronavirus response.
The continent’s confirmed coronavirus cases had climbed to
at least 5,300 by Tuesday, with more than 170 recorded deaths, according to a
Reuters tally. And while those figures constitute just a fraction of current
global cases, experts worry that Africa’s creaking health systems could easily
Co-chaired by South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and
Ken Ofori-Atta of Ghana, the ministers met via video conference on Tuesday.
Many wore medical masks, said the UNECA, which hosted the meeting.
“The call for debt relief … should be for all of
Africa and should be undertaken in a coordinated and collaborative way,”
UNECA said in a statement.
African governments have asked for immediate relief from
debt service obligations, including at last week’s G20 summit, and would like
to see a portion of their debts forgiven or converted into long-term,
But the complexity of Africa’s creditor landscape, which
includes traditional bilateral and multilateral lenders, China, commercial banks,
commodity traders and bond holders, will complicate efforts to ease the
continent’s debt burden.
Some 55% of external interest payments are to private
creditors, according to data compiled by the UK-based Jubilee Debt Campaign.
Protection from defaults
In an initial meeting organised by UNECA last month, ministers called for $100 billion this year to support African countries during the pandemic.
The post Africa Seeks IMF, World Bank, EU Backing on Debt Relief appeared first on Ghana Talks Business.
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