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Thu 26 Mar 2020 05:35 PM

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King Salman urges 'effective' Covid-19 response from G20

King Salman urges 'effective' Covid-19 response from G20

Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Thursday urged G20 leaders to take "effective and coordinated" action to combat the global crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, and called on them to assist developing nations.

While wealthy nations including the US have unveiled mammoth stimulus packages, there has so far been no collective action plan from the G20, and it has been criticised for its slow response.

In opening remarks as G20 leaders began an emergency online summit, the king detailed the havoc the pandemic has wreaked on the global economy, financial markets, trade, and global supply chains.

"We must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic and restore confidence in the global economy," he said.

"This human crisis requires a global response. The world counts on us to come together and cooperate in order to face this challenge."

As concerns mount for poorer countries without access to capital markets and adequate health facilities, the IMF and World Bank have urged G20 leaders to support its call for governments to put debt payments on hold.

"It is our responsibility to extend a helping hand to developing countries and least developed countries to enable them to build their capacities and improve their infrastructure to overcome this crisis and its repercussions," King Salman said.

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