African Finance Ministers Want US$100 Economic Healer Over Coronavirus

Finance Ministers on the African Continent have called for a US$100billion stimulus package to buoy back economies on the continent which is reeking under the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

A statement from the United Nations Economic Commission fro Africa today said the US$100billion will comprise  $44 billion in the form of waivers of debt interest payments.

The remainder would be in the form of the countries tapping into existing facilities in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Development Bank (AfDB) and other regional institutions.

“Africa needs an immediate emergency economic stimulus to the tune of $100 billion,” the statement said.

The Finance Ministers had held a virtual conference on Thursday and reached the resolution.

Africa is facing threat from the deadly coronavirus pandemic, while at the same time poor oil prices have also hit hard at countries on the continent.

The Ministers propose that the debt holiday include not only waivers on interest payments on public debt, but also on sovereign bonds. This reprieve would save governments an estimated $44 billion this year, and would possibly need to be extended to the medium term, it added.

“(A waiver) would provide immediate fiscal space and liquidity to the governments in their efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

It said in the case of more fragile states, waiving repayment of both principal and interest should be considered.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s debt stands at nearly 60% of GDP.

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