The G20 researches the post-pandemic world and supports debt relief

Leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies (the Group of Twenty) will discuss for two days how to deal with the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic that caused a global recession, in addition to how to manage recovery from it once the Coronavirus is brought under control.

Topping the summit agenda is the procurement and global distribution of vaccines and drugs and testing in low-income countries that cannot afford these expenses alone. 

On Saturday, the European Union will urge the G20 to invest $ 4.5 billion to help in this regard.

“The main topic will be intensifying global cooperation to deal with the pandemic,” said a senior G20 official who is participating in preparations for the two-day summit, chaired by Saudi Arabia, to be held online due to the pandemic.

The European Union will propose concluding a pandemic treaty and others in preparation for the future.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, will address the G20 on Sunday, saying, “The conclusion of an international treaty will help us deal faster and more coordinated”.

The International Monetary Fund said in a report for the G20 summit that the global economy witnessed a recovery from the crisis earlier this year, but momentum is slowing in countries with high infection rates, the recovery is proceeding at an uneven pace, and the pandemic is likely to have a profound impact.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that poor and indebted countries in the developing world are most at risk because they are “on the brink of financial collapse, rising poverty and hunger and facing untold suffering”.

To address this, the G20 will approve a plan to extend the delay in debt service payments to developing countries for a period of six months until mid-2021, with the possibility of another extension, according to a draft statement of the group seen by Reuters.

European members of the G20 are likely to push for more.

“There is a need for more debt relief,” Michel told reporters on Friday.

Debt relief in Africa will be the main theme of the Italian G20 Presidency in 2021.