The Financial Express

UNCTAD seeks $2.5 trillion virus package for developing countries

FE Online Report | Published: March 31, 2020 16:14:25 | Updated: March 31, 2020 21:03:41

UNCTAD seeks $2.5 trillion virus package for developing countries

In the face of a looming financial tsunami this year, due to spread of deadly coronavirus, an agency of the United Nations called for $2.50 trillion crisis package for developing countries including Bangladesh.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in a report titled ‘The Covid-19 Shock to Developing Countries,’ proposed the package on Monday.

It also outlined a ‘four-pronged strategy’ to ‘translate expressions of international solidarity into concrete action’ to fight the COVID-19.

UNCTAD proposed that $1 trillion should be made available through the expanded use of special drawing rights and $1 trillion of debts owed by developing countries should be cancelled this year.

Moreover, the UN agency also said that $500 billion needed to fund a Marshall Plan for health recovery and dispersed as grants.

In this connection, spokesperson for the UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric at a briefing on Monday said that the consequences of a combined health pandemic and a global recession will be catastrophic for many developing countries and halt their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. (SDGs).

UNCTAD also argued that the proposed package is similar in size to the amount that would have been delivered to developing countries over the last decade if countries in the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development had met their 0.7o per cent target of official development assistance.

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