President Ruto urges World Bank, IMF to extend pandemic-related debt relief to worst-hit nations

President William Ruto

President William Ruto makes his speech during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, US on September 22, 2022.

Photo credit: UN

What you need to know:

  • President William Ruto has called upon global financial institutions to extend public debt relief to developing countries in his first address as the head of state at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 
  • Dr Ruto noted that many countries are still recovering from the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and debt relief will go a long way in securing the development projects that have already been put in place by these countries.
  • He has also called upon other countries to partner with the developing countries to help in the recovery from the pandemic. 


President William Ruto has called upon global financial institutions to extend public debt relief to developing countries in his first address as the head of state at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 

Dr Ruto while making his address noted that many countries are still recovering from the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and debt relief will go a long way in securing the development projects that have already been put in place by these countries.

"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," Dr Ruto said. 

He has also called upon other countries to partner with the developing countries to help in the recovery from the pandemic. 

"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," he added. 

The President further urged the G20 to extend and expand the scope of the common framework to suspend or reschedule debt repayments by middle-income countries during the pandemic recovery period.

Dr Ruto said developing countries are heavily burdened by external debt servicing rum the risk of losing development gains due to the shocks inflicted by the pandemic.

"I call upon global financial institutions amd the international community to take urgent measures and  release all existing financial instruments and provide much-needed financial liquidity and secure better fiscal space for developing countries like Kenya," he said.

President William Ruto is leading a Kenya delegation attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York USA. 

He is accompanied by the First Lady Rachel Ruto, his foreign adviser Ababu Namwamba, economist David Ndii, PS Susan Mochache (Health) and PS Julius Jwan (Education). 

Other legislators including MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Aden Duale (Garissa Township) and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen are also part of the entourage.

According to his Director of Communications, Hussein Mohammed Dr Ruto is expected to meet with US President Joe Biden before jetting back into the country.

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