July 24, 2020
The Honorable Nita Lower
Chairwoman, House Committee on Appropriations
H-307  The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Financial Measures to Protect Africa from Financial Instability Due to COVID-19

Dear Chairwoman Lower,
We, the Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN), urge you to support additional measures to ensure that African countries are safeguarded from the additional financial burdens and hardships put on them from the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is essential that measures remain in place to provide debt relief to free up necessary monies so African nations can focus their limited financial resources on protecting the poor and vulnerable and providing the necessary supplies and materials for those on the front lines of fighting the pandemic. 

It is essential to quickly stabilize the global economy.  We urge the U.S. to support the International Monetary Fund utilize the Special Drawing Rights to stabilize the African economy. It is in U.S. interest to stop COVID-19 abroad to prevent it from coming back to any of our communities once we reopen our borders.  By protecting the health of others, we consequently protect our own health, security, and economy. 

We come to you as a friend of the world and Africa, to urge you to advocate for the following policies:

  1. Additional Debt Relief and Forgiveness: Support the continuance of the suspension of African countries debt payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Issuance of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs): Support the issuance of 2 trillion or more in SDRs from the IMF international reserve allowing countries with financial hardship to exchange SDRs for currency as was done in response to the global financial crisis in 2009.  This will ease the impact of the crisis on developing economies and this policy costs nothing to U.S..

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.  Additional resources about the IMF SDRs can be found here: https://globalcovidresponse.org/#joinus

Rev. Aniedi Okure, OP, PhD, Executive Director

Cc: Hon. Kay Granger, Ranking Member, House Committee on Appropriations; Hon. Mike Quigley, Chairman, Financial Services and General Government; and Hon. Tom Graves, Ranking Member, Financial Services and General Government