The East African mentions Eric LeCompte on the civil society open letter to the IMF calling for more emergency currency allocations and redistribution of reserves from wealthy economies to developing ones. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.
Uhuru: Debt relief and vaccines crucial for recovery of developing countries
By Aggrey Mutambo
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday reiterated his call for supportive debt relief and vaccine access for poor countries, arguing they will be the two most important areas to help the world beat back the Covid-19 pandemic.
The President had been calling for vaccine equity and debt relief in most of his recent speeches, a stance now adopted by the African Union. Developing countries argue that debt relief, emergency funding more trade and access to vaccines will protect them in spite of poor health care systems.The International Monetary Fund, for example, created an emergency fund, known as the Special Drawing Rights, to help countries fight the pandemic crisis.
But critics have argued the SDRs worth $650 billion, which are based on quotas of IMF members, have benefited developed countries more. Last week, more than 250 civil society activists and organisations wrote an open letter to the IMF, asking that the allocation be increased to $3 trillion and that “economies are in less need of SDRs given their access to a wider array of monetary and financial tools for the response and recovery.”
They argued that it was “essential that the recent allocation be quickly followed by rechanneling a significant portion of advanced economies’ SDRs to developing countries,” an idea IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has agreed could help. “Wealthy countries received more than $400 billion of the relief aid while developing countries received around $235 billion,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA, one of the NGOs that appended their signature on the open letter. “Wealthy countries can't use the special currency and should donate it to poor countries being ravaged by the pandemic.”
Read more here.