Developing countries face dual challenge of fighting poverty, pandemic: PM
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan delivered his keynote speech at World Economic Forum (WEF) especially conducted on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic via video link, ARY News reported on Wednesday.
PM Imran Khan said that the coronavirus did not spread as fast in Pakistan as in European countries rather the challenge faced by the country was more so of poverty rather than the pathogen infection.
This year, Pakistan had made great progress in terms of its twin budgets and bridging the current account deficit. The virus has hit us at a very crucial time, said the Prime Minister.
Apprising the forum with government led initiatives in the fight against coronavirus, Khan said: “In Pakistan 25 million people earn daily wages. Due to lockdown they went out of jobs and the government came up with immediate emergency cash transfers.”
“So far, we’ve given cash handouts to 15 million families to mitigate immediate risks of lockdown.”
“In Pakistan we have also developed a robust mechanism of national coordination in wake of Corona virus.”
I spoke to Ethiopian, Egyptian counterparts and they also face similar challenges as us, we have to keep our economic conditions in view while combating coronavirus, he reiterated.
“Even the developed world now faces the dilemma of whether to continue lockdown to conserve the spread or ease it gradually to bring back economy on track,” he entailed.
Khan added that the developed world was facing different experiences in the wake of coronavirus pandemic than that of the developing countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
Thanking the G-20 forum for heeding his prior call to action on debt-relief, PM Imran Khan said that he was thankful to the global body for providing considerable debt-relief to the developing countries the details of which are as yet awaited, the developing countries do need significant relief in health sector to fight the pandemic, he continued.
PM Imran Khan also mentioned the formation and deployment of “Tiger Force” comprised of 1 Million volunteers to cope with coronavirus in Pakistan.