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Ruto paints picture of Kenya's struggling economy at UN General Assembly

President Ruto makes appeal to World Bank, IMF over Kenya's debts

President William Ruto addressing the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States on September 21, 2022

President William Ruto has urged the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend debt relief measures to developing nations, painting a picture of Kenya’s struggling economy.

In his speech at the 77th UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday evening, President Ruto said developing nations such as Kenya were at risk of an economic crisis following the Covid-19 pandemic, the regional conflict between Russia and Ukraine, climate change as well as global inflation.

On behalf of Kenya, therefore, I join other leaders in calling upon the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral lenders to extend pandemic-related debt relief to the worst-hit countries, especially those affected by the devastating combination of conflict, climate change and covid-19,” the head of state appealed.

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He also urged the G20 to suspend or reschedule debt repayments by middle-income countries during this recovery period.

He added: "Kenya and the rest of Africa, like other developing countries, are in need of greater international partnership and cooperation to avert the economic crisis in the wake of the pandemic."

President Ruto challenged the global financial institutions and the international community to take urgent measures and release all existing financial instruments to countries like Kenya.

He argued that it would provide much-needed financial liquidity and secure a better fiscal environment for developing countries.

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President Ruto’s speech underscored Kenya’s struggling economy as many Kenyans continue to feel the pain of inflation, high cost of living, hunger and famine, reduced incomes, among other challenges.

I confirm that we have done the best of everything we could in the circumstances. Nevertheless, it is not enough.

Kenya and the rest of Africa, like other developing countries, are in need of greater international partnership and cooperation to avert an economic crisis in the wake of the pandemic,” he said.

He stated Kenya was uniquely placed, in that the country faces multiple challenges but has opportunities that need to be tapped.

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President Ruto also called for reforms in the UN Security Council, saying that the current structure and model are ineffective in solving modern security problems that face the world today.

A just and inclusive world order cannot be spearheaded by a United Nations Security Council that persistently and unjustly fails the inclusivity criterion,” he told the world leaders.

He welcomed the call by US President Joe Biden for the expansion of the membership of the Security Council as a significant step in the right direction.

President Ruto is expected to meet with President Biden before returning to the country.

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