AFRICAN Ministers of Finance have called for a US$100 billion emergency financing and requested debt relief from bilateral, multilateral and commercial partners including from the IMF, World Bank and the European Union amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

They have also called for the creation of a special purpose vehicle which will specifically deal with all sovereign debt obligations.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the Fund stands ready to deploy all its US$1 trillion lending capacity to member states.

Speaking at a Virtual conference meeting in Niger which organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) ) on the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on Tuesday Last week, the ministers also called forbearance of interest payments over a two to three year period for all African and less economically developed countries.

During the said meeting which was co-chaired by South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and his Ghanaian counterpart Ken Ofori-Atta, the African ministers reiterated the importance and gravity of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and stressed the need for an immediate response to mitigate its spread and contain its negative effects on national economies.

They stressed the need for a coordinated approach in the design of anti-viral measures as well as the importance of a strategic approach in order to better optimize the resources allocated to combat the COVID-19 virus disease.

Meanwhile, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva last month in a statement following a G20 Ministerial Call on the Coronavirus Emergency said the Fund was ready to deploy all its US $1 trillion lending capacity to member states.

“We will massively step up emergency finance—nearly 80 countries are requesting our help—and we are working closely with the other international financial institutions to provide a strong coordinated response. We are replenishing the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to help the poorest countries. We welcome the pledges already made and call on others to join. We stand ready to deploy all our US$1 trillion lending capacity. And we are looking at other available options. Several low- and middle-income countries have asked the IMF to make an SDR allocation, as we did during the Global Financial Crisis, and we are exploring this option with our membership,” said Georgieva.

Africa as of Saturday 20:00 hours had recorded a total of 8, 426 confirmed Coronavirus cases.