UN officials said they will meet more than a dozen world leaders on Thursday to discuss sourcing financial aid for developing countries which have suffered by the pandemic’s economic downfall.

The online meeting took place amid increasing coronavirus infections in developing countries and warned that overcoming the crisis would cost more than the initial estimate of 2.5 trillion dollars. In attendance were Canada, Jamaica and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

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U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said that many developing countries, including middle-income countries, lacked the resources to fight a pandemic and invest in recovery.

“Work continues, but this is not urgent enough,” he told reporters at an online briefing.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed

Mohammed said the proposal by the 20 major economic groups and Paris Club creditors to delay official bilateral debt payments to the poorest countries by the end of 2020 was a critical start, but further efforts were needed.

To date, only 22 of the 77 eligible countries have officially proposed tolerance. Others worry that this could affect their long-term ability to make money.

Thursday’s meeting will be attended by participants from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, African Union, International Financial Institutions and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED). The aim is to present concrete proposals in eight weeks, said Mohammed.

The draft concept paper for the meeting, seen by Reuters, called on the IMF to increase global liquidity by removing the distribution of new currencies from special drawing rights against Washington.

The meeting will also seek to fight for global debt standstill for all developing countries that request release – not just the ones covered by the G20 debt suspension – and calls for proactive solutions by private-sector creditors to avoid the even higher cost of a “disorderly wave of defaults.”

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