Today’s SECAM statement is signed by Bishop Sithembele Sipuka of Mthatha, the first vice president of SECAM and the commission chair. Debt relief and COVID-19 and climate change aid for African countries are at the core of what the conference is calling for.
The statement notes 40 million Africans have fallen into extreme poverty during the pandemic. It’s also the least vaccinated region of the world. About 20 percent of the African population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Oxford University Our World in Data project.
To alleviate some of the economic hardship, SECAM calls for global finance leaders to create another emergency reserve fund allocation, known as Special Drawing Rights (SDR). The first SDR allocation created $650 billion for COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery aid for countries worldwide. However, African countries only received $33 billion of it.
“We ask that wealthy countries, which received more than $400 billion in that allocation, rechannel a significant portion of their SDRs to African countries to support local efforts for vaccine purchase and climate change adaptation,” the statement said. “While the G20 commitment to rechanneling $100 billion is a good start, we believe they can do more,” noting that in a second allocation Africa should get at least “triple” the amount it received last time.