African countries need at least Ksh15 trillion to fight the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Ahmed Abiy has said.
In a statement to the World Bank and the upcoming G-20 extraordinary summit, Ethiopia also proposes that government loans for low income countries should be waived, as well as interests for the loans.
“(We ask for )Africa Global COVID-19 Emergency Financing Package – USD 150 Billion (from the) Supplementary Budgetary Support from the World Bank Group (including by recycling undisbursed IDA resources) for health emergency support, to boost foreign exchange reserves and safety nets,” reads the statement in part.
“Ethiopia proposes all interest payment to government loans should be written off. In addition, Ethiopia proposes part of the debt of low-income countries should be written off. We suggest the remaining debt to be converted into long term low interest loans with 10 years grace period before payment. All debt repayments will be limited to 10% of the value of exports,” adds Dr Abiy.
The country is also asking for a Global Africa Health Emergency Package which may include support to WHO to strengthen public health delivery and emergency preparedness in Africa and support to Africa Centres for Disease Control to help supply medical equipment, protective gears and testing kits.
It has asked for financing by the Global Fund (for AIDS, TB and Malaria) to strengthen system for health services and support health equipment purchases in Africa.