Pakistan, urges int’l help for crises-hit developing countries

“Sustainable global recovery will not be possible if the majority of the world’s population is left behind,” Aamir Khan

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UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, has called on world’s aid agencies to enable the developing countries to prepare viable and sustainable infrastructure projects aimed at addressing the triple crises — Covid-19, environmental and economic — that hit them disproportionately.

“It is vital that the recovery should be a pathway to a sustainable global economy, in particular by investment in sustainable, quality and resilient infrastructure, which will also create decent jobs and reduce poverty,” Ambassador Aamir Khan, deputy permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, told a meeting of ministers and governors of Group of 24, which deals with international monetary and development finance issues.

While the developed economies had injected around $17 trillion to their economies, the developing countries, needing an estimated $4.3 trillion, have been able to mobilize around $100 billion in additional financing so far, he said.

“Sustainable global recovery will not be possible if the majority of the world’s population is left behind,” Aamir Khan said. In this regard, he said the vaccine inequity must end and that adequate financing is critical. To this, the G-77 proposed: mobilization of larger concessional assistance to developing countries; extension of the debt service suspension by all creditors and early action to ease unsustainable debt; and the voluntary re-allocation of at least $250 billion of the un-utilized new SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) to the developing countries. Aamir Khan, in Pakistan’s capacity as G-77 chairman, also proposed expanded lending by the multilateral development banks (MDBs); and their recapitalization; Reduction in the market borrowing costs for developing countries; earliest fulfillment of the commitment to provide $100 billion plus in annual climate finance, aiming to achieve a balance between mitigation and adaptation, and access to private capital for sustainable development projects.

“To this end, the MDBs, the UN and its agencies, and other relevant development actors, should enable the developing countries to prepare viable, sustainable infrastructure projects, which can access both public and private finance,” he added. The G-77, which now has 134 members and is the UN’s largest intergovernmental group of emerging countries, is currently chaired by Pakistan. The agreement reached between states at the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, known as COP26, “must be the baseline for climate action”, he added, stressing those basic commitments for climate finance from developed countries have not yet been met. Meanwhile to another official commitment, on behalf of G77 and China, Ambassador Amir Khan said, I would like to thank you for the invitation to attend this meeting and thus enhance coordination between our Groups. Excellencies, it is timely for the international financial institutions to focus on sustainable and inclusive recovery: from the Covid, environmental and development crises. The developing countries have suffered disproportionately and require international financial and other support, to address these triple crises.  The developed economies have injected around $17tn dollars in economic stimulus [to their economies. The developing countries, meeting an estimated $4.3 trillion, have been able to mobilize around $100 billion in additional financing so far. 5. Sustainable global recovery will not be possible if the majority of the world’s population is left be-hind. Excellencies. First, the vaccine inequity must end. Second, adequate financing is critical. To this, the Group proposes: (i) Mobilization of larger concessional assistance to developing countries which need it to save lives and livelihoods and stabilize economies; (ii) Extension of the debt service suspension by all creditors and early action to ease unsustainable debt; (iii) The voluntary re-allocation of at least $250 billion of the unutilized new SDRs to the developing countries; (iv) expanded lending by the MDBs; and their recapitalization; (v) Reduction in the market borrowing costs for developing countries; (vi) Earliest fulfillment of the commitment to provide $100 billion plus in annual climate finance, aiming to achieve a balance be-tween mitigation and adaptation; (vii) Access to private capital for sustainable development projects. Third, it is vital that the recovery should be a pathway to a sustainable global economy, in particular by investment in sustainable, quality and resilient infrastructure, which will also create de-cent jobs and reduce poverty. To this end, the MDBs, the UN and its agencies, and other relevant development actors, should enable the developing countries to prepare viable, sustainable infrastructure projects, which can access both public and private finance.

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