Pakistan calls for more aid to address economic crisis of pandemic-hit developing countries

“The COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest instance of a global problem that knows no borders,” he said, adding that others include the climate change, an unstable global economy, and the systemic exclusion of women, youth and other groups.

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UNITED NATIONS, Developing countries are suffering the adverse economic effects of COVID-19 disproportionately and require more comprehensive financing help in the wake of the pandemic, Pakistan told a gathering of parliamentarians from around the world on Thursday.

“In the present-day world, growing economic inequalities are a threat to sustainable development, and COVID-19 has added to these inequalities,” Senator Farooq Naek, a member of the Pakistani delegation, said at the 2022 Parliamentary Hearing, a joint initiative of the IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union) and the UN General Assembly president.

Senator Farooq also emphasized that the measures to help developing countries overcome their economic woes should be equitable, with universal access to COVID-19 vaccines and related technologies.

On its part, he said, Pakistan, under the Benazir Income Support Programme and the Ehsaas Initiative, had provided cash relief to millions of poor people.

Around 200 MPs, speakers, advisers and related officials from 65 member parliaments are participating in the two-day event, which is being held in the UN General Assembly Hall for the first time, on the theme of building political support and inclusive responses to sustainable recovery.

In his remarks, Senator Farooq underscored the need for providing fiscal space to the developing countries to enable them to undertake stimulus measures to stimulate economic growth.

“This would involve numerous measures including debt relief, debt restructuring, fulfillment of commitments and provision of concessional loans,” the Pakistani delegate said.

Furthermore, he called for reforming existing global financial architecture, including an enhanced focus on combating illicit financial flows.

Senator Farooq also called for social protection initiatives in providing a cushion to needy and the vulnerable people.

Earlier, highlighting the shared objectives of the UN and the IPU in the context of multilateralism and global cooperation, the President of the General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, said, “Parliaments are the platform through which UN resolutions can be turned into national legislation. And national parliaments can be the mechanism through which local concerns can be conveyed to the UN and deliberated by the international community.”

This synergy is particular importance in global crises, such as the pandemic, or as the world faces global challenges emerging from poverty or climate change, he said.

“This is where parliaments and the UN must be in lockstep,” President Shahid added.

Duarte Pacheco, IPU President, said that the Parliamentary Hearing is an example of how the United Nations must engage with parliaments and vice-versa for global problems.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest instance of a global problem that knows no borders,” he said, adding that others include climate change, an unstable global economy, the systemic exclusion of women, youth and other groups.

“There are so many problems we face today that can only be resolved effectively by combining actions nationally and globally – and parliaments are the linchpin for that action.”

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