Ethiopia Asks For Ksh15 Trillion To Help Africa Fight Covid-19

Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Ethiopia has asked the World Bank through the upcoming G-20 extraordinary summit to consider an aid of at least USD150 Ksh15 trillion to African countries to help them fight Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a statement, the Ethiopian governments says that the funds will help in health emergency support and also boost foreign exchange reserves and safety nets.

“(We ask for )Africa Global COVID-19 Emergency Financing Package – USD 150 Billion (from the) Supplementary Budgetary Support from the World Bank Group (including by recycling undisbursed IDA resources) for health emergency support, to boost foreign exchange reserves and safety nets,  IFC Global Private Sector Financing – Trade Financing, working capital support and medium-term financing to private companies struggling with disruptions of supply chains,” reads a statement from the office of the Prime Minister Dr Ahmed Abiy.

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Due to the crisis, Ethiopia proposes that debts for low income countries be written off, and interests for other government loans done away with.

“Ethiopia proposes all interest payment to government loans should be written off. In addition, Ethiopia proposes part of the debt of low-income countries should be written off. We suggest the remaining debt to be converted into long term low interest loans with 10 years grace period before payment. All debt repayments will be limited to 10% of the value of exports,” suggests Dr Abiy.

The country is also asking for International Monetary Fund (IMF) Global Crisis Financing to Low Income Countries to meet urgent balance of payment needs.

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On behalf of Africa, Ethiopia is also asking for a Global Africa Health Emergency Package which may include support to WHO to strengthen public health delivery and emergency preparedness in Africa and support to Africa CDC to help supply medical equipment, protective gears and testing kits.

It has asked for financing by the Global Fund (for AIDS, TB and Malaria) to strengthen system for health services and support health equipment purchases in Africa.

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