UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera praised China on Thursday for waiving interest-free loans for over a dozen African nations.
"I commend the People's Republic of China for leading by example by fulfilling the pledge it made at last year's Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to forgive interest-free loans owed by 17 African countries," the president said at the general debate of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
Chakwera recalled that Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva recently called on the world's major lenders to show leadership by relieving vulnerable countries of the debts that are shackling them because "even loans that were given and received in good faith have become unsustainable in the recent and current climate of relentless and unforeseen external shocks."
Reiterating the call with the IMF chief, Chakwera thanked China for taking action.
"Let this be the beginning of breaking the chains holding vulnerable countries back, not the end, because when we say that we are leaving no one behind, this is one way to put our money where our mouth is," said the president.
"I recognize that we too must prove ourselves worthy of such assistance by using it to cushion our citizens against the worsening financial volatility, trade cost, and human suffering the debt and other external factors are causing," he added.
The president underscored that leaving no one behind "has to be practiced, not just preached."
"If we are truly one UN family, we must get out of political posturing and welcome more helping hands in resolving the problems," said the president. ■