African Ministers Call for $100b Support

The African Ministers of Finance have called for 100 billion dollars in support to halt the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic throughout the continent. Out of that amount, 44 billion dollars will go toward debt relief for all African countries, according to their plea. The ministers warned during a video meeting that the COVID-19 crisis is deep and that recovery will take a long time. In their meeting, the ministers focused on several main issues, including the health and humanitarian crisis; the need for debt relief and fiscal stimulus for all countries; liquidity relief to the private sector and in particular the service sectors, especially tourism, airlines and small  and micro enterprises. The ministers specifically called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support the need for additional resources, recognising that the IMF plans to double access under its emergency financing facilities. Algeria, Egypt and South Africa are the three countries most affected by the spread of the virus so far. The Ministers also suggested that if the crisis were to continue, an additional 50 billion dollars may be needed for the recovery process in 2021 in anticipation of interest payments.



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