ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Monday he held a discussion with his Pakistani counterpart on ways to withstand the economic fallout of COVID-19.

“In a phone call with PM @ImranKhanPTI we both agreed on the importance of debt relief for developing countries to withstand the #COVID19 challenges as well as to quickly absorb & recover from economic shocks. We will work together to ensure the progression of our economies,” Abiy tweeted.

In March, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa urged the G20 countries to “[…] support and encourage open trade corridors, especially for pharmaceuticals and other health supplies as well as support the upgrade of health systems infrastructure.”

The commission also called on G20 leaders to “deliver an immediate emergency economic stimulus to African governments in their efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

It urged them to also “implement emergency measures to protect 20 million jobs immediately at risk across the continent, particularly in the tourism and airline sectors.”

Abiy urged the International Monetary Fund to relieve African countries of their debt and also to make additional funding to help them to cope with the effects of COVID-19.

In April, the African heads of state and government held a virtual conference and called on the international community to raise $150 billion in COVID-19 funding for Africa.

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