OPINIONS Efforts urged to assist with recovery of African states

OPINIONS

Efforts urged to assist with recovery of African states

CHINA DAILY

07:53, May 20, 2021

Vice-Premier Han Zheng attends the Summit on the Financing of African Economies via video link in Beijing, on May 18, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Vice-Premier Han Zheng reiterated on Tuesday China's commitment to help African nations relieve their debt burden and continue with COVID-19 vaccine aid to the continent.

He made the remarks in a speech via video link at the Summit on the Financing of African Economies.

After having comprehensively implemented the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative, China will continue to work with the global community to step up debt relief for African nations under the principle of "joint action and equitable burden", Han said.

The summit, hosted by France, also brought together a number of leaders from African and European nations as well as the heads of international organizations.

Han highlighted the vital importance of enabling Africa's recovery and sustained growth momentum in the face of the pandemic, saying that China hopes developed nations, multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors can adopt concrete actions.

He expressed Beijing's support for encouraging rich nations to reallocate funding in International Monetary Fund special drawing rights monetary reserves to African states.

China supports international financial institutions and the private sector expanding their long-term financing targeting Africa and bolstering investment in infrastructure and capacity building in a bid to help African nations attain economic independence and sustainable growth, he said.

He stressed the significance of adhering to green development and promoting the transformation of growth in the continent, saying that China is willing to conduct dialogue and exchanges with different nations on the Great Green Wall, the African-led initiative to combat desertification and restore Africa's degraded landscape.

In promoting the fair distribution of vaccines to Africa, Han said China would continue with its vaccine aid program to the continent and facilitate the commercial purchase of vaccines from nations, adding that Beijing hopes the international community can offer greater support to ensure the availability and affordability of vaccines on the continent.

Financing needs

Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, said at the summit that the organization estimates Africa's additional financing needs for an adequate COVID response at around $285 billion through 2025, of which $135 billion is for low-income countries.

She said the African continent's economic output is expected to grow by only 3.2 percent in 2021, compared with 6 percent in the rest of the world.

China, which holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in May, convened a high-level open debate on Wednesday focusing on addressing the root causes of conflict while promoting post-pandemic recovery in Africa.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China hopes the international community, including UN Security Council member states, can explore how to better help African states conquer the pandemic, address the root causes of conflicts and achieve lasting peace and sustainable development.

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