Imran urges world to think of ‘debt-write offs’ to help nations like Pakistan cope with virus
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said he feared the new coronavirus would devastate economies of developing nations and warned the developed world economies to “prepare to write off the debts” of the world’s poorer countries.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Prime Minister Imran said: “My worry is poverty and hunger.”
“The world community has to think of some sort of a debt write-off for countries like us, which are very vulnerable, at least that will help us in coping with (the coronavirus).”
He also called for lifting sanctions against Iran, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East.
The premier sat down with AP at his office in Islamabad. He’d spent much of his day meeting experts about the effect of the coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan.
He said that if a serious outbreak of the pandemic happens in Pakistan, he is worried that his government’s efforts to lift the ailing economy out of near-collapse would begin an unstoppable slide backward.
Exports would fall off, unemployment would soar and an onerous national debt would become an impossible burden. Pakistan secured a $6 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund last year.
“It’s not just Pakistan. I would imagine the same in India, in the subcontinent, in African countries,” he said, referring to the virus. – AP