Developing countries need more resources to fight COVID-19 – GCAP

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The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) has call for fair channelling of resources to developing countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The call was made when it organized the Ghana People’s Assemblies and Global Week of Action on the theme: “Social protection within the context of the SDGs and the COVID-19,”

The Assembly, organised in conjunction with Action4SD, brought to the fore some challenges developing economies are facing in the acquisition of resources in the fight against the pandemic.

The GCAP and Action4SD organise the People’s Assembly annually at the time the UN General Assembly is on-going, so they would give ordinary people the opportunity to know what is going on and make their call to world leaders on issues that affect them.

Mrs. Grace Naa Kortoi Amoah, on behalf of GCAP, observed that, “as the pandemic exacerbates multiple crises in developing countries, special delivery rights are a crucial option to help finance the COVID-19 response and hasten an equitable and inclusive economic recovery”.

Mrs. Amoah in an open letter to the G20 Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors, and the International Monetary Funds, noted that successful and equitable recovery from the pandemic was dependent on a transparent and participatory process, which included representatives of civil society organizations in all countries.

“We urge you to ensure that Special Drawing Right (SDR) channelling options align with a basic framework of principles that many academics, experts and civil society colleagues around the world echoed over recent months,” Mrs. Amoah stated.

She said it was essential that the recent allocation be followed by redirecting a significant portion of the SDRs of advanced economies to developing countries.

Mrs Amoah also called for debt-free financing, so it did not add to the debt burdens of developing countries, refrain from tying transfers to policy conditionality which would lengthen the time it took to negotiate such financing and force countries to adopt difficult austere measures, and be accessible to middle income countries which had been left out of debt relief initiatives.

Other suggested options included transparency and accountability, safeguards on both providers and recipients of such financing, and ensure that SDR contributions were additional to existing Official Development Assistance (ODA).

It also focused on climate finance commitments, and prioritize SDR use, expanded funds to combat the pandemic through budget support to the public and private sector workforce in health and education.

Mr. Kenneth Amoateng, West Africa Coordinator of GCAP said there was the need for regular reports on channelled SDRs since it would help limit fragmentation, deepen accountability and track the impact of SDRs.

Mr. Amoateng, said, in as much as Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) were being considered as a favoured option for SDRs channelling, PRGT did not reflect the principles of being debt-free, conditionality free and accessible to all developing countries.

He therefore called for ways to improve PRGT option, including channelling resources through its emergency finance vehicle which was the Rapid Credit Facility.

Mr. Benjamin Lartey, Country Representative of GCAP, Ghana, asked developed countries to target vaccination of about 60 per cent of persons in the world, and break the shackles of intellectual property on vaccines and COVID-19 knowledge.

Mr. Lartey also suggested large investment of public money to manufacture more vaccine doses around the world, provide Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and tests free of charge, and scale up global financial support for upgrading and expanding public health systems.

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