The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, proposed to the highest leaders of the United Nations and international financial organizations to implement “exceptional and historic” measures that mitigate and protect the most vulnerable, in the face of devastating health damage and the economies that the COVID-19 pandemic will cause.
In a note addressed this Thursday, March 26, 2020 to the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), and to the highest authorities of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), President Alvarado, expressed that “to meet the needs of developing countries and with little fiscal space, I advocate before you, thinking of the most vulnerable ”
“The planet has witnessed how, being saturated, a health system forces doctors to choose which patients to help with a respirator to save their lives, and which, due to lack of equipment, cannot be cared for, condemning them to an uncertain fate. This is a tragedy suffered by the whole of humanity, “he warned.
“Today, the rulers live a very similar dilemma, which goes beyond finding the resources to expand the reach of our health systems. Our current dilemma is to mitigate the growth curve of COVID-19 to avoid saturation of our systems, and at the same time sustain our economies after the crisis, and protect people, mainly the most vulnerable, from fall into unemployment and impoverishment, “said the President of Costa Rica.
In the note, President Alvarado stressed that “the action of national governments and central banks is key to mitigating the negative effects of the crisis, but developing countries and especially countries that do not have sufficient fiscal space are seen limited in their responsiveness, and that significantly exposes them. Its inhabitants are especially vulnerable ”.
Alvarado proposed to make valuations on the fiscal situation of the countries more flexible, so that a substantial increase in the deficit is contemplated, as long as it is the result of efforts to avoid the disappearance of the business park and the impoverishment resulting from unemployment, linked to deterioration. economic caused by the strategy to combat COVID-19.
The note also insists that the terms of the financial assistance granted in this context should be exceptional in terms of interest, grace period and payment time. It should, in turn, move forward with a payment arrangement for the existing portfolios, and eventually provide for the suspension of payments, he added.
“This would, without a doubt, be a historic multilateral and solidarity response, perhaps the most important since the postwar period,” said the President of Costa Rica.
“The COVID-19 pandemic puts us, as an international community, facing an unprecedented health and economic challenge. I therefore respectfully submit this request. I appreciate your extraordinary efforts demanded today by the poorest and most vulnerable, “said the Costa Rican president.