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Source: South Africa News Agency

African countries are encouraged by moves by international financial institutions to provide relief to indebted countries at a time when the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“We are encouraged by moves by the international financial institutions to provide relief to indebted countries, and reiterate our call for a moratorium on interest and debt repayments by stricken countries,” said the President.

The President made these remarks during the World Bank high-level event on Human Capital in the time of COVID-19 on Thursday.

The President said such placing of a moratorium on interest and debt repayments will afford African countries the fiscal space sorely needed to rebuild societies and economies. 

“For every African man, woman and child to realise their full potential, we have to continue to invest in poverty eradication, in education and in improving health outcomes.”

He said the pandemic has once again brought to the fore the importance and necessity of universal health coverage.

“We have to turn this period of crisis into one of opportunity to build resilient economies.”

He said the continent continues to call for a comprehensive economic stimulus.

“We are continuing to call for a comprehensive economic stimulus to assist African countries to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.”

President Ramaphosa said the Coronavirus pandemic has a deep and profound impact on the world, having devastated livelihoods and economies, setting back the ability to meet the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

However, the African continent’s response to the pandemic has been strategic and collaborative. 

The continent’s strategy in dealing with the pandemic has been based on four pillars.

The first has been in developing a continental response to the virus, and the second has been in raising resources through the African Union’s COVID-19 Response Fund. 

The third pillar has been in setting up a continental platform for the acquisition and distribution of diagnostic and therapeutic supplies to countries in need, through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform.

The fourth pillar was the appointment of special envoys to engage with the international community to mobilise the financial support that African countries need to ensure an effective public health response to the pandemic, and enable their economies to recover. –

MIL OSI Africa