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Africa needs $100billion for COVID-19 aftermath: Ramaphosa

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Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, speaks during the United Nations General Assembly seen on a laptop computer in Hastings on the Hudson, New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 22. 2020. Photographer: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Africa needs financing of $100 billion for “fiscal space and liquidity’’ amid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday at a UN meeting on financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the era of COVID-19 and beyond via video message.

The impact of the pandemic has been described as the worst shock to the global economy since World War II.

“The economic and social consequences are as bad as we feared and in some cases, worse. We are suffering the largest economic contraction since the Second World War, Ramaphosa said.

“Unless we take action now, we face a global recession that could wipe out decades of development and put the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development completely out of reach,” he added.

According to Ramaphosa, challenges facing developing economies have been compounded by weak public health systems, limited social safety nets, high levels of inequality, high debt burdens, reduced tax revenues, capital outflows and lack of adequate and sufficient access to financial markets.

“For Africa, financing remains crucial. As agreed by African finance ministers on 19 March 2020, Africa needs immediate emergency financing to the tune of 100 billion, which would provide fiscal space and liquidity to governments,” Ramaphosa said.

He added that the southern nation supported extending the debt service suspension and considering the cancellation of debt in certain cases.

He called on developed countries not to go back on their commitments to support developing countries.

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