UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has accused the world's rich nations and energy giants of squeezing poor countries with "predatory" interest rates and "crushing" fuel prices. Speaking to leaders of more than 40 countries in need, at a conference in Doha, Guterres said rich nations should provide $500 billion a year in aid:
"Your countries are trapped in a vicious circle that makes development difficult. And I can assure you that we are fully aware of the injustices created by our unjust global economic and financial system and are determined to change them with reforms. Economic Development is a challenge when countries are starved of resources, drowning in debt and struggling with chronic injustice and an unequal response to Covid-19."
The summit of the least developed countries in Doha was not attended by any of the leaders of the world's major economies, notes AFP. "The global financial system was designed by the rich countries and benefits them the most," Guterres said, adding:
"Fossil fuel giants are making huge profits while millions of people in your countries are starving. Alleviating the crisis of living standards is becoming more difficult every day. The war in Ukraine is driving up energy and food prices. Add and the impact of conflict, drought, hunger and extreme poverty, and the result is a perfect storm to perpetuate poverty and injustice. We must end this storm."
The debt of the least developed countries in the world has more than quadrupled in ten years and amounts to 50 billion dollars by 2021, writes AFP./BNR