Gambian president calls for international support for poor countries amid COVID-19 pandemic

President Adama Barrow
President Adama Barrow

Gambian President Adama Barrow on Thursday called for international community to aid the least developed countries undergoing economic stagnation caused by COVID-19.

“Developing countries, such as The Gambia, will continue to require support packages or bailouts from the United Nations and the international community in order to survive the ongoing economic decline,” the president said in his virtual address to the 75th United Nations General Assembly from his State House in Banjul.

He said that The Gambia’s economy growth has shrunk to 2 percent, and it continues to contract as the tourism sector, which is a major employer and foreign exchange earner, is devastated, adding that the country’s unemployment is increasing rapidly.

Small and developing nations have been struggling to manage their debt burdens while trying to develop economy, said the president.

He, therefore, reiterated the strong call by the African Union for debt relief or debt cancellation, enhanced access to global finance, reduction of transaction costs on remittances and increased global solidarity and partnership.

“We hope that the unique circumstances and challenges of the least developed countries, especially countries in transition like The Gambia, will be accorded special and speedy consideration,” Barrow added.

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