Jokowi on G20: A Call for Assistance to Pursue Recovery

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo called on G20 leaders to help low- and middle-income countries trying to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic as they electronically convened at the 2020 Riyadh Summit this weekend through a virtual conference.

The President shared that without the support of the bloc and cooperation with the low- and middle-income countries, it will take longer to rebound from both health crisis and economic recession.

In view of this, the two-day summit chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Jokowi’s two key recommendations for the bloc were debt relief and emergency funding for the COVID-19 pandemic. The outcomes of the meeting to be revealed later today are expected to send relevant and consistent messages to the international community that the leaders of the two third economies will stand together in addressing post-COVID-19 global challenges, especially in terms of restoring employment and developing an equitable and sustainable future.

For him a more open fiscal room will allow countries to devote more funds to social security network projects, raise domestic demand, and help small and medium-sized enterprises at the late Saturday conference, practically attending the Bogor Presidential Palace.

He also claimed that financial assistance from the Leaders will also help countries acquire COVID-19 vaccine. In the meantime, in presenting an emergency fund for COVID-19, the President said that the G20 leaders needed good political will to leverage their financial support for coronavirus vaccination, monitoring and care.

Other leaders, like the European Union, have also reiterated Jokowi’s demands for debt relief and emergency COVID-19 financing, encouraging the G20 to bring more funds into the Access to COVID-19 Resources (ACT) Accelerator and its COVAX Facility, a joint initiative headed by WHO, GAVI and CEPII.

The European Commission Head Ursula von der Leyen called for US$ 4.5 billion to be spent in the ACT Multiplier by the end of 2020, for procurement and delivery of COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines everywhere.

Consequently, The EU, as President Charles Michel of the European Council has said, has also suggested that the G20 should create a pandemic treaty. An international treaty will allow us to respond quicker and in a more organized way.

In its statement last month, the G20 said the bloc committed more than US$21 billion to finance the production, delivery and access of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines; injected US$11 trillion to safeguard the global economy; and introduced a debt suspension program for the least developed countries to enable recipient countries to postpone US$14 billion in debt.

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