Politicians from around the world on Wednesday petitioned the International Monetary Fund (MF) and World Bank to cancel the debt of the poorest countries in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The initiative, led by former United States presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders and US Representative Ilham Omar, comes amid growing concern that developing countries and emerging economies will be devastated by the pandemic.
A Reuters tally has shown that the virus has infected more than 4.2 million people globally and killed 287,349.
Widespread shutdowns aimed at containing the virus are taking a huge toll on the global economy, and especially poor countries with weak health systems, high debt levels and few resources to manage the global health and economic crises.
Sanders said that cancelling the debt of the poorest countries was “the very least that the World Bank, IMF and other international financial institutions should do to prevent an unimaginable increase in poverty and hunger.