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Uhuru calls for solidarity to defeat coronavirus

Saturday May 30 2020
uhupic

President Uhuru Kenyatta engages UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and other leaders, during a virtual meeting on May 28, 2020 at State House, Nairobi. PHOTO | PSCU

By PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has emphasised the need for global solidarity in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The President said all stakeholders need to come together so as to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. 

He added that Kenya is doing its best to not only slow down the spread of the virus but also to support the region and the continent in dealing with the crisis.

“At the national level, we are doing our best. Beyond our national commitments, at regional and global levels, we have contributed in inter-governmental and African Union efforts,” he said.

The President spoke on Thursday evening during a virtual high-level meeting on development financing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic convened by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his Jamaican counterpart Andrew Holness and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

President Kenyatta told the meeting attended by a cross-section of world leaders that the current health crisis will constrict global growth this year leading to financial market volatility and increased debt risk, especially in developing countries.

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“The economic and financial shocks associated with Covid-19, such as disruptions to industrial production and supply chains, falling commodity prices and rising insecurity, have derailed the already tepid economic growth and development,” the President said.

INCLUSIVE GROWTH

To address the socio-economic challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, he said the global community needs to focus on the implementation of the United Nations Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Specifically, he advised world leaders to concentrate on expanding global liquidity, addressing debt vulnerability, especially for developing nations, and enhancing external financing to ensure inclusive growth and continued job creation.

The Kenyan leader also proposed the expansion of the fiscal space and promotion of domestic resource mobilisation by preventing illicit financial flows.

On private sector participation, President Kenyatta pitched for partnerships that will help to build indigenous production and forestall the need for long supply chains.

In his capacity as the current President-in-Office of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), President Kenyatta announced plans to host an extraordinary summit to deliberate on the effects of Covid-19 on the people and the economies of member countries.

INNOVATION

Speaking on behalf of the African Union, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Covid-19 is a real threat to the collective ability of the global community to achieve SDGs, especially so for developing countries.

The South African leader called for innovative approaches in the deployment of resources to support the private sector and small and micro enterprises (SMEs), which he said were the engines for wealth and job creation.

In his remarks, UN Secretary-General Guterres unveiled a six-point road map he said would help the world overcome the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Guterres said expanding liquidity in the global economy, addressing debt vulnerabilities of developing nations and the increased participation of private sector creditors will help provide timely and effective solutions.

Other measures advanced by the UN boss include enhanced financing for inclusive growth and job creation, expansion of the fiscal space and promotion of domestic resource mobilisation as well as alignment of recovery policies with SDGs.

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