ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday appealed for a “Global Initiative on Debt Relief”.
In his video message to the International Community, the prime minister noted that COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented health and economic challenges, and underlined that a global recession was certain, one worse than the Great Depression.
Imran Khan stressed that a global pandemic cannot be contained without a strong, coordinated and well-crafted global response.
The Global Initiative on Debt Relief will bring together stakeholders on a platform to promote coordinated health and economic response. During the past week, various announcements have been made by multilateral actors such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank. The announcements made include initial relief packages of US$ 1.4 billion by the IMF, and US$ 1 billion by the World Bank.
Prime Minister Imran Khan invited the UN Secretary-General António Guterres to work with him in advancing the objectives of a coordinated response.
The proposed Global Initiative aims to lay the ground for urgent debt relief to the developing countries, at their request, and without onerous conditionalities. The initiative is built on the Prime Minister’s belief that enhanced fiscal capacity is fundamental to recovery from the ongoing pandemic crises.
the prime minister cautioned that the pandemic’s socio-economic impacts would be more consequential in the developing countries.
My appeal to the international community, the UNSG & international financial institutions to respond positively to the dilemma confronting developing countries in the face of the COVID19 pandemic. #Global_Initiative_Debt_Relief pic.twitter.com/EfydRhfZhc
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 12, 2020
While proposing the Initiative, the prime minister highlighted that his government had provided a US$ 8 billion stimulus package to help the most vulnerable Pakistanis.
Noting the UN secretary-general’s call for action, Prime Minister Imran Khan also urged world leaders to step up measures to help developing countries to overcome disastrous impacts of COVID-19.
The prime minister proposed that the developing countries be provided with fiscal space and financial relief through enhanced debt relief and restructuring and other additional measures that could help them manage the unfolding crisis.
As part of his diplomatic outreach, Imran Khan will be approaching Heads of State/Government from a wide range of countries notably from Paris Club, Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), heads of International Organizations and others concerned to join him in this endeavor.
The prime minister has entrusted the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh to reach out to their respective counterparts to work for the “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” with the objectives of relieving developing countries of the financial challenge from the COVID-19 pandemic and realizing sustainable development.