Cancel Africa’s debt, Oxfam tells G20

As Africa countries fighting the scourge of Coronavirus, continue to experience downward economic trend, Oxfam International, has called on G20 leaders to provide immediate relief and ensure financing flows to save African people from a massive COVID-19 crisis.

The organisation in a statement at the weekend in Abuja by Oxfam Pan Africa Director, Peter Kamalingin, welcomes the decision by the G20 leaders to hold a virtual Extra- Ordinary Summit to respond to the health crisis and an economic recession triggered by Covid 19.

He said the G20 leaders meeting cannot afford to ignore calls for a debt moratorium for African countries in order to save lives now and give a lifeline to the many Africans whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the pandemic. 

He said: “This is the moment that Africa needs to use all its existing resources to cope with the emergency. It makes no sense for African countries to transfer much-needed resources to foreign banks, developed nations with capacity to cope with the pandemic, or international institutions.” 

Africa is facing the worst health and economic crisis in decades amidst declining tax revenues, diminishing official development assistance, and rising debt obligations and costs. The slump in commodity prices and disruption of global supply chains, especially in China, as a result of the pandemic, is already hitting African economies hardest.

“Calls for debt relief this week from the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) must be welcome as a first step, but do not meet the needs of African people in this life-threatening crisis. The proposal by the WB and IMF that “only bilateral debts need to be suspended” will guarantee much-needed money continues to flow out of the continent (multilateral and private lenders hold most of the debts). 

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