In a positive development, Pakistan has become one of the latest countries to secure debt relief from the Paris Club until December 31, 2020. With the rescheduling of the debt services, Pakistan’s government – suffocated by COVID-19 – will surely get some breathing space. The authorities will be able to increase spending resources to mitigate the disastrous effects of COVID-19 on public health and the economy.

Undoubtedly, the global pandemic has turned the world upside down. Economies have shrunk, and the global economy is in a coma. National borders have become more rigid to contain coronavirus. And amid global chaos, allegations and conspiracies are marring the spirit of collectivism that the world community urgently and direly needs. However, the fact that the Paris Club granted debt relief to several countries shows that the international community understands that we are together in this crisis. The move also testifies that the only way forward to defeat the virus is formulating a collective approach.

Yet, the international community should take note that this is nowhere near enough. Despite all this, it is not wrong to say that the global responsibility in assisting the low-income nations is not being fulfilled. Developed countries, unfortunately, are lagging in pulling the third world from the deepening abyss of COVID-19.

Previous editorials in this paper have repeatedly called for a financial aid plan along the lines of the Marshall Plan, but more radical in nature, for the reconstruction of developing nations’ economies. The economic giants of the world need to start thinking on awarding permanent waivers to third-world countries that are finding it hard to fight the virus on their own. Even the 2019 winners of the Nobel Prize in economics, Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee also argue for a new Marshall Plan for lower-income nations. The rich countries and international financial institutions must answer their call in the affirmative.