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COVID-19: MEPs call for solidarity with developing countries

The African, Caribbean, Pacific Group of States and the European Union (ACP-EU) must work in solidarity to tackle the health and socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

In a joint statement, the Chairs of the European Parliament's Committee on Development, Tomas Tobé (EPP, SE), and of the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Carlos Zorrinho (S&D, PT) express their solidarity with the families of the victims and those affected by the coronavirus.

They call on the ACP Group of States and the European Union to prove their solidarity by working hand in hand to tackle the health and socio-economic impact of the crisis. As a global crisis requires a global response. Only by joining forces and cooperating across borders and continents will the virus be defeated and its consequences contained. The substantial extension of international cooperation among scientists, economists, policy-makers and humanitarian and development actors must continue to be one of the key measures.

They call on the European Union and its Member States to assist ACP countries, in particular those most impacted and those whose populations are the most vulnerable and whose economies and health systems are the most fragile.

Building urgent response capacity and suspending debt payments

As a first step, the EU should step up its humanitarian and development response in order to assist countries in tackling the immediate health challenges, notably in terms of strengthening preparedness and building urgent response capacity. In preparing its external response, the EU should also integrate the numerous lessons learned from the Ebola crisis.

The Chairs insist on the need to address the economic and social impact in partner countries. They also refer to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) call to suspend debt payments by poor countries with a GNI less than $ 1.175 per capita (IDA countries), if they make such a request, and call on the European Union and the G20 States to support this call

Finally, the Chairs call on the international community to work closely together to form a global response. In this context, they particularly welcome the USD 2 billion appeal for a United Nations Global Humanitarian Response Plan and call for substantial contributions from the EU and the ACP Group of States.