The United Nations Economic and Social Council UN ECOSOC held a wide-ranging political debate to explore funding options for the pandemic and to mobilize resources for a proactive recovery process.
For her part, Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohamed said, “The world is witnessing an unprecedented stagnation. How can financing be available to help governments bridge financial gaps is a difficult question that requires ad hoc responses.”
She added that developing countries are witnessing a sudden halt of entire sectors, deteriorating supply chains, and budgets are under pressure as governments seek to meet the needs of their populations and address growing unemployment. “Funding on an unprecedented scale is essential to an effective response,” said Ms. Mohamed.
She pointed out that the United Nations is now in an “emergency situation,” as it adjusted its $17.8 billion portfolios to support the response to Covid-19, which is designed according to the context of each country. From the outset, she added, the 131 United Nations country teams have fully mobilized to provide political and operational support at the national level.
Meanwhile, Mona Gul, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, said Covid-19 constitutes a true test of global solidarity, noting that countries are already delaying in achieving the sustainable development goals even before the pandemic. “We cannot allow those who are less able to deal with this crisis to fall further behind.”
Gul explained that there are a number of priority areas that urgently need progress, particularly in ensuring debt sustainability, as an increasing number of countries face debt constraints due to the economic effects of the pandemic.
Gul noted the G20 decision to freeze debt service payments to the world’s poorest countries, which would free up about $11 billion until the end of 2020, Gul said that eligible countries could have an additional $20 billion in multilateral and commercial debt to be paid this year.
Gul added that progress must be made in tackling corruption to prevent the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars. The newly established High-level Committee on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity is now working on tax issues, corruption, and illicit financial flows