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14th April 2020 | Coronavirus, Foreign Affairs, Press Releases

Healthcare is playing second fiddle to debt repayments in developing countries, Ireland must lead – Greens

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With the IMF and the World Bank meeting this week, it is time for all developed countries, including Ireland, to step up as Covid-19 hits the global south.

The IMF announced a small $215 million debt write-off for the poorest countries, but many badly affected countries are not included in this list and the IMF can and must do more.

Senator Pauline O’Reilly, Green Party Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, said: “With over sixty countries in the world paying more in debt repayments than they have to spend on healthcare, it is time for the IMF and the World Bank to cancel the debt of developing countries. Ireland has a strong voice in the IMF and can play its part. We are calling for the government to support the call from Irish organisations to write off the debt.

“When we look at how difficult it is for public healthcare services in European countries to cope with this pandemic it is clear that, as coronavirus takes a foothold in the poorest nations in the world, a massive humanitarian crisis will be the result unless we act fast.

“Ireland has previously voted against the development of an international debt work-out process between lenders and debt ridden countries. The time has come to be leaders and to truly support our global brothers and sisters.”