Antonio Guterres, U.N. Secretary-General, has recently requested debt relief for the African countries and has urged for more investment to help the economies recover from the outbreak of COVID-19 and offer some aid owing to the impacts of the Ukraine war.
The chief of the United Nations spoke in Senegal on the first leg of a trip, including Nigeria and Niger, where he is expected to visit communities impacted by climate change and conflict.
Due to Russia’s Ukraine invasion, supply disruptions have instigated an immediate food, finance, and energy crisis in Africa and beyond, said Guterres.
As per the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the pandemic has pushed many emerging countries into debt, followed by the Ukraine war, which has disrupted their economic recovery.
The IMF last week said that sub-Saharan Africa’s public debt rate has been at its highest in the past two decades.
Guterres mentioned that the International financial institutions must urgently put the debt relief measures in place by enhancing liquidity and financial space so that the governments can evade defaults and invest in social safety nets and sustainable development.
The United Nations has made proposals to the IMF and World Bank regarding deploying various reserves and debt relief instruments, but till now, the measures taken have not been sufficient.
He further urged the pharmaceutical companies and wealthy companies to hasten donations of COVID-19 vaccines and invest in the production of local vaccines, with around 80% of the African population not being vaccinated against the COVOD-19.
Apart from vaccination, a big imbalance has been seen in investment, post COVID recovery. It has been added that the economic growth per capita is predicted to be 75% lesser in Africa than in the other parts of the world in the next five years.