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UN’s Antonio Guterres: “In the face of the pandemic, a moratorium on African debt is necessary”.

The world is facing a crisis of the likes not seen since 1945 and the creation of the United Nations. Antonio Guterres spoke about this on Tuesday 31 March to Jeune Afrique, while unveiling the report which takes stock of measures to be taken to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures that address health, economic and social aspects of the crisis.

The Portuguese former Prime Minister is calling for a general mobilisation and also for coordinated and solidarity-based action.

Without seeking to create any controversy with the heads of state who continue to downplay the seriousness of the disease or prefer to hide behind their borders, he insists above all on the necessary support for developing countries, particularly African ones, which will not be able to finance the required measures alone.

The report you are presenting today is very comprehensive, but isn’t it a little late?

Antonio Guterres: No, it is not. If you look at the content of the report, especially the political positions, the main points were already stated by me three weeks ago and also during the preparation of the last G20.

The document published today is an in-depth work, involving all the UN agencies and regional commissions. It is a collective position that will enable us to effectively support countries in their response to the pandemic.

It contains an economic and social response, in addition to the health assistance provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This report is not a first working tool; it shares experiences and consolidates what has already been done.

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