THE full effect of the coronavirus pandemic will only be realised a few months after the epidemic has passed and life starts returning to normal. One thing is certain — the world’s poorest countries will bear the brunt of this tragedy.
The G20 leaders have met to work out a global response to the crisis. Experts have asked them to offer debt relief to the poorest countries, and release funds to pay for the measures needed to save lives.
The poor countries owe billions to rich countries and institutions like the IMF. Right now, it makes sense for the rich nations to inject their cash into the poor countries’ healthcare systems to help them stop the virus from spreading.
Pakistan and Ethiopia have already called for debt relief. It is now for the leaders of G20 countries and the World Bank to step forward and open their coffers to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2020