Ahead of the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings this year, we’ve prepared a handy guide to what must be done to ensure that every country can prioritise healthcare, and the fight against Coronavirus.
The G20 needs to heed the warnings – a “third wave” of the coronavirus crisis could result in a catastrophic loss of life in poorer countries in the Global South and push half a billion more people into poverty.
Countries like the Central African Republic have just 3 ventilators for almost 5 million people, and Malawi has only a quarter of the nurses needed to provide healthcare for all.
Yet, right now, instead of investing every dollar they have into boosting their healthcare systems to defend against the onslaught of the virus, these countries are having to use their precious resources to pay off external debt.
Sixty-four countries spend more on external debt payments than on public healthcare.
The window to act is closing quickly. But this week, the G20 finance ministers, the IMF and the World Bank can offer an instant lifeline – cancel all external debt payments for 2020.
Cancelling debt payments of the 76 poorest countries could save $40 billion immediately and support almost 500 million of the world’s poorest to survive this crisis. Other developing countries also need debt cancellation, and if their payments were also cancelled for the next year, the figure would reach over $300 billion. These nations will also need an injection of additional emergency funds…
Read the full media briefing