*Gordon Brown (R) with former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo in central London years back. Photo: Getty Images
About 165 global leaders, including former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ), former United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, are currently mobilising about $600billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to support developing countries in the fight against the dreaded Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which is devastating the world.
These passionate former leaders made the call in a letter signed by 92 former presidents and prime ministers, along with current economic and health leaders. In the letter, they called for a concerted global response to the pandemic, led by the G-20 countries. The former leaders also called for the creation of a G-20 executive task force and a global pledging conference, which would approve and co-ordinate a multi-billion-dollar anti-coronavirus fund.
The OBJ group also called for a global action to raise $8billion emergency global health fund to prevent a second wave of COVID-19; coordinated fiscal stimuli, including a resolution by the multilateral finance organisations to waive the debt interest payments for the poorest countries, including $44billion due this year from Africa, to avoid a recession becoming a depression.
The leaders argued that about $35billion was needed for ventilators, test kits and protective equipment for health workers just as the canvassed that about $150 billion be provided for preventing a second wave of the disease in countries that are now struggling to come out of the first wave of the disease.
Their statement reads, “All health systems – even the most sophisticated and best-funded are buckling under the pressures of the deadly virus. The economic emergency will not be resolved until the health emergency is addressed: the health emergency will not end simply by conquering the disease in one country alone but by ensuring recovery from COVID-19 in all countries.”