Australian Civil Society Calls for Debt Relief to Combat Coronavirus Pandemic
Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA has joined international aid and civil society organisations in calling for debt relief to low-income countries to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint letter, the signatories called for the Australian Government to use its influence, through its significant role in the IMF, the World Bank, the Paris Club, and the G20, to push for the following:
• Cancellation of all external debt payments due to be made in 2020.
• Provision of emergency additional finance which does not create debt.
• The Establishment of a UN-led Permanent Mechanism to Resolve Future Debt Crises.
The Coronavirus pandemic brings with it both a health and an economic crisis. Without swift action now, including deb-relief, to bolster fragile and overstretched health systems and testing in low-income countries, there are grave risks of further spread of the virus.
Whilst the impacts will be felt by all of us, it is the most vulnerable and marginalised people in low-income countries, including women and girls, who will be hardest hit.
Many of the world’s poorest countries are already in debt distress, and for the last few years they have used an increasing amount of their budgets to make payments to manage their sovereign debt at the cost of improving vital societal functions, such as healthcare, welfare, and education.
This impact is felt more strongly by women who rely on public services, supplement these services through the provision of unpaid care, and are more likely to be employed in these sectors.
To read the full press release, click here.