President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged all G20 nations to help address debt in developing countries as global economies buckle under the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ramaphosa was speaking during the virtual session of the G20 Summit on overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and restoring growth and jobs.

The summit, hosted by Saudi Arabia, will also highlight efforts to ensure affordable access to vaccines.

Ramaphosa says developing countries have large financing needs and desperately need to return to economic growth.

“We call on the G20 Member States to use all of their persuasive powers, to convince all creditor countries, multilateral development banks, credit rating agencies to continue to work with us to address the problem of burgeoning developing country debt. The G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative has helped to defer the immediate debt service payments of participating countries, and the recently agreed 6-month extension will provide further support,” says Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa says economic activity in Africa is expected to shrink by 3.2% this year. He says the continent has made great efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In addition to the suspension of debt service payments, large financing needs remain necessary to both stave off a deep humanitarian crisis and stimulate economic rebirth. The IMF should urgently consider the issuance of additional special drawing rights and for the allocation of these to member countries that need the resources most,” says Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa addresses the G20: