PM Imran Khan Calls For Coordinated Global Effort To Help Struggling Economies With Covid-19
Prime Minister Imran Khan has appeared in a video message, appealing directly to the international community, the UN Secretary-General and international financial institutions to help developing countries struggling with the costs of fighting the Coronavirus pandemic. In his view, developing countries which are heavily indebted are faced with a “lack of fiscal space” in their response to the unique challenges created by Covid-19.
Since these fiscal hurdles are preventing these countries from properly implementing the lockdown measures necessary to curb the spread of the virus and offer relief to their poverty-stricken populations, PM Imran Khan called for the international community to coordinate in order to “launch an initiative to give debt relief to developing countries”. This proposed initiative, called the “Global Initiative on Debt Relief”, will involve leaders “notably from the Paris Club, Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and heads of international organisations”.
Citing the heavy economic stimulus packages being announced by rich countries to prevent their economies from floundering, Pakistan’s Prime Minister notes that poor countries cannot afford to fund such packages by themselves:
“Countries like the United States and Japan have announced economic packages worth trillions of dollars whereas Pakistan could only announce a package of $8 billion.”
Failure to do this, in the PM’s view, would result in a global recession “which would be worse than the Great Depression”.
The World Bank has already stated that South Asia is on course for its worst economic performance in 40 years due to a number of factors that have combined to hit economies during the Coronavirus pandemic.