Oxfam, an international charity organisation, has urged rich countries to help poor countries prevent the catastrophic levels of poverty that may arise as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Oxfam made its call on the basis of predictions by the World Bank that the impact of Covid-19 will push Sub-Saharan Africa into recession.
Oxfam stated that the economic crisis caused by Covid-19 could push over half a billion people into poverty unless urgent action is taken. The organisation noted that the World Bank’s bi-annual Africa’s Pulse report stated that growth in Sub-Saharan Africa had been significantly impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19.
Oxfam, in its ‘Economic Rescue Plan for All’, outlined measures that can be adopted in order to shield poor countries from the economic effects of Covid-19. Oxfam said, ‘At least $2.5 trillion must be mobilised to tackle the pandemic and prevent global economic collapse. Unlike ordinary assistance, the plan suggests prioritising helping people directly, giving cash grants to those in need and the immediate suspension of the debt payments of poor countries’.
The organisation urged the Chairperson of the African Union, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, to raise his voice to defend the rights of African governments to protect their citizens from the worst pandemic in 100 years. ‘China and the Paris Club of creditor nations could play a leadership role on the world stage by immediately announcing the suspension of all debt payments by developing country governments for the next year’, Oxfam added.
Photo source: Andy Wright