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Published On: Tue, Jan 27th, 2015

UN moves to cancel external debts for 3 Ebola hit countries

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un-logoBy Doyin Ojosipe

The Executive Secretary to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Carlos Lopes, has urged international financial institutions to help by waving off external debts owed by the three countries worst hit by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), epidemic.

Speaking at the merging of the on-going 26th Ordinary Session of AU Executive Council, the UN Secretary noted that the three countries still facing the deadly disease; sierra Leon, Liberia and Guinea, are faced with a devastating set back, adding that the cancellation of their country’s external debt is only needful as it will allow them a breathing space to squarely face the overwhelming problem of the moment.

In his words, “The relationship of the three Ebola-affected countries with the international financial institutions is at a critical juncture as the imperative for debt cancellation is being discussed after our vocal case for it….The three countries face recognized unique complex development challenges which limit their ability to contain the EVD outbreak itself…

He also encouraged international financial institutions not to be disheartened by the inability of the countries to meet their expectations as the size of the three countries combined has no significant marginal effect adding that affected countries make less than one per cent of Africa’s combined GDP, “We could not visualize more than a marginal impact in the region’s performance, given the size of the three most affected countries being less than one per cent of Africa’s combined GDP,” he said.

 

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