Third world country seek support to fight Covid-19

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By Grace Donga

The world’s least developed nations are asking the international community to support them with $5.2 billion financial resources to help them deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The call is contained in a statement signed by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gueterres, heads of multilateral bodies and President Peter Mutharika, in his capacity as 2018 to 2021 chairperson of the LCD.

As chair of the grouping of least developed countries, Malawi has written the UN Secretary General and heads of relevant institutions to address challenges stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the statement, the grouping’s member states have been seriously affected by the pandemic owing to structural weaknesses of their economies.

The statement contends that the situation has been compounded by lockdowns effected in various countries to contain the spread of the virus.

The group has since called for the immediate funding and implementation of a stimulus package for member countries to address the challenges caused by Covid-19.

The purpose of the fund would be to, among others, cover emergency public health issues, social protection, education support for students as well as full debt cancellation.

The group is further imploring the World Trade Organisation to launch a renewed and revitalised global trade framework to promote export earnings for the least developed countries.

As a medium to long term measure, the statement calls for provision of affordable Covid-19 drugs, technology transfer related to the fight against the pandemic as well as stimulus package to stabilise the agriculture sector seen as key to spur industrialisation. 

The group further calls for debt sustainability framework for least developed countries that takes into account structural constraints of the countries and requisite investment for meeting for the Sustainable Development Goals.



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