The health impact of the pandemic is only one part of the crisis now facing the developing world. The deep global recession it has brought on is undercutting 20 years of economic and social gains, especially in Africa. The Prime Minister’s call for extended debt relief, grant aid, new lending—ideally interest free—and the issuance of SDRs all must be essential elements of the policy response. The May 4th pledging conference can only be the beginning of a long-term effort by the advanced economies, including China.
Jeremy Mark is a former senior communications adviser and speechwriter to the International Monetary Fund’s management team.