President William Ruto has called for the suspension or restructuring of debt repayments by middle-income countries to achieve their debt sustainability.
Speaking Wednesday during the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the President called on the World Bank, the IMF and other lenders to extend pandemic-related debt relief to the worst-hit countries, especially those affected by the devastating combination of conflict, climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The G20 must also suspend or reschedule debt repayments by middle-income countries during the pandemic recovery period,” he said.
He noted that developing countries were being heavily burdened by servicing external debt, therefore, running the risk of losing development gains due to the shocks inflicted by the pandemic and associated disruptions.
“I call upon global financial institutions and the international community to take urgent measures and release all existing financial instruments to provide much-needed additional liquidity and secure better fiscal space for developing countries like Kenya, to enhance social investment, support climate change adaptation and mitigation, address security needs and resolve development financing challenges,” said the Head of State.
“Kenya and the rest of Africa, like other developing countries, are in need of greater international partnership and cooperation to avert economic crisis in the wake of the pandemic,” he added.
Last month, China left out Kenya from the list of African countries that will receive a loan waiver under a plan by the Asian country to help 17 least developed states on the continent burdened by huge loans.
Analysts said the elevation of Kenya to the middle-income status has informed the decision by China to overlook Kenya as a beneficiary of those receiving the debt relief.