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COVID-19 bizarre impact on global economy – Majoro

Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro

April 14, 2021 3 min read

3 min read

PRIME Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro says the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on countries' socio-economic balance sheets is of an unprecedented magnitude.

This he said on Monday when delivering his speech at the Special Segment of the 2021 Forum on Financing for Development held by the United Nations (UN) in New York, USA.
The pandemic, he said has slowed down economic growth, depleted personal savings, disrupted daily livelihood pursuits, raised national debt levels and increased costs of health care amongst others.

He noted that at a global level, the pandemic has reversed the gains made on sustainable development goals.
It is now incumbent on global political and business leadership to re-invest in sustainable and inclusive recovery strategies to accelerate progress towards the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda, which is now only a short nine years away,” he said.

The discovery of the COVID-19 vaccines he explained has given hope across the globe that the coronavirus can be defeated, and that normalcy can be restored to their economies, adding however that many fear that inequities would undermine accessibility to vaccines, hence the establishment of the COVAX initiative.

Dr Majoro told the forum that several wealthy countries and regions have rushed to secure vaccines for themselves, while a more equitable distribution based on the principle of inclusivity would have contributed more to an expedited recovery in the world economy.

“In a world of scarcity, a globally determined distribution strategy would have served them better and efforts must still be made to reach all populations everywhere at the earliest,” he said.

He added: “The world needs a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient recovery from the downturn caused by the virus and other global shocks, hence the COVAX initiative which aims to secure a wider and fairer distribution of vaccines across the globe requires full support.
As the impacts of COVID-19 have piled up on top of the effects of climate change as well as inadequate infrastructure, it is critically important that the donor community further increases its level of official development assistance until when poverty has been eliminated.”

The Premier further said the debt relief process remains an unfinished business, adding that countries like Zimbabwe and Sudan must still be considered for debt relief.

He said most of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) that received relief earlier have relapsed due to the unavoidable need to provide infrastructure amid lack of additional resources for that purpose.

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He said the level of the current elevated indebtedness amongst Low Income Countries (LICs) is a direct result of borrowing for providing infrastructure and fighting COVID-19, coupled with lack of debt-free resources.
Dr Major also showed that Lesotho would therefore like to encourage all international creditors; both commercial and private, to take a bolder action to suspend debt repayments, apply debt cancellation and moratoria while also providing additional resources for supporting economic growth. Lesotho, he said has called for more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to support trade capacity, employment, and growth.

The pandemic-driven sluggishness of demand as well as supply-side disruptions, due to lockdowns and cross-border restrictions, have trashed industry everywhere therefore as economies reopen and demand picks up in the productive sectors, investments in a diverse array of ventures are desperately needed.

Lesotho is currently on a vaccine roll-out which started on March 10 after receiving 36 000 doses from COVAX Facility. LeNA

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