Islamabad, May 21, 2020 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for coordinated and cooperative efforts at global level to overcome the challenge of Covid-19 pandemic. Addressing COVID19 Action Platform of World Economic Forum through video link tonight, he said experience of developed world is completely different what we are facing in the developing world.
He said the speed at which the Covid-19 spread in Europe and the United States was not anticipated by rest of the world. He said we have seen rising cases in Pakistan but we have not reached the peak so far. The Prime Minister said we are facing twin challenges of stemming the growth of virus by lockdown and how to mitigate its effects on our population due to rising poverty.
He said in Pakistan we have 25 million workers who are either daily wagers or self-employed. When we lockdown our economy, all these people become unemployed. In addition, they have families to support and the total number of people facing economic hardship reaches 150 million.
Imran Khan said in order to reduce their sufferings, we started cash transfer programme and reached out 15 million families. He said despite of the rising cases in the country, we decided to relax the lockdown and open some industries in order to help people earn their living.
The Prime Minister said we also organized a volunteer force that will assist the government by sensitizing people and helping them in social distancing and other measures, and also help in distribution of relief goods. Imran Khan said we were facing a tough economic situation and worked hard to reduce our current account deficit by taking a number of measures.
The Prime Minister said we are seeing a decline in foreign remittances and slow growth. He said the pandemic has reduced the fiscal space of all countries and put additional strain on existing health facilities. Imran Khan said Pakistan needs help in the field of health to tackle the issue.
He said during his talks with heads of various developing countries including Egypt, Nigeria and Ethiopia, he found all were facing the similar issues. He said G20 countries have announced relief in debt to developing countries which is a good gesture. Earlier, the forum was apprised that 17 out of 20 countries with cases of Covid-19 are emerging economies. It was informed that global economy is anticipated to contract 5 percent.
For more information, contact:
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
Government of Pakistan
4th Floor, Cabinet Block, Pak. Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan