Cairo – President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, has presented an initiative to the G20 group to consider easing debt burdens on African countries, in light of the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis on the continent’s economies.
The initiative includes rescheduling maturing debts, postponing payments, and reducing debts, in coordination with intentional finance institutions, such as the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Egyptian President discussed the initiative with African leaders and members of the African Union in a videoconference to discuss the implications of the virus outbreak on African countries, addressing the resulting challenges in cooperation with international partners.
The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, presented the initiative on Thursday to the G20 summit, as agreed upon by African countries.
Chaired by Saudi Arabia's King Salman Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit was also held through videoconference to discuss efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.
It is worth noting that Saudi Arabia assumed the presidency of the G20 last December, with the international forum leaders' summit set to take place in Riyadh on 21-22 November 2020.
The G20 summit issued a statement that stressed the determination of member counties to cooperate in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting lives, safeguarding jobs and incomes, restoring confidence, preserving financial stability, revive growth and strong economic recovery, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
In addition, the summit’s statement pointed to the need to minimize disruptions in trade and global supply chains, providing assistance to countries in need, coordinating public health and financial measures, and supporting the efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Accordingly, G20 countries promised to continue addressing the risks of debt vulnerabilities in low-income countries due to the pandemic, the statement noted, adding that the group asks the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to monitor the pandemic’s impact on employment.