Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. He can be reached on [email protected]
The heads of the world’s top global financing, health and trade agencies on Tuesday urged government leaders to urgently finance a new $50 billion roadmap to help end the coronavirus pandemic and set the foundations for a global recovery, as well as enhanced health security.
“By now it has become abundantly clear there will be no broad-based recovery without an end to the health crisis. Access to vaccination is key to both,” the heads of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva; World Bank Group, David Malpass; World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; and World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said in a joint statement.
They urged governments to act now and without further delay or risk continued waves and outbreaks of COVID-19 as well as more transmissible and deadly virus variants that would undermine the global economic recovery.
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The joint statement draws on a recent IMF staff analysis, which argued that $50 billion in new investment is needed to increase manufacturing capacity, supply, trade flows, and delivery, which would accelerate the equitable distribution of diagnostics, oxygen, treatments, medical supplies and vaccines. This injection would also give a major boost to economic growth around the world.
“At an estimated $50 billion, it will bring the pandemic to an end faster in the developing world, reduce infections and loss of lives, accelerate the economic recovery, and generate some $9 trillion in additional global output by 2025, “ said the leadership.
“Increasing our ambition and vaccinating more people faster: WHO and its COVAX partners have set a goal of vaccinating approximately 30% of the population in all countries by the end of 2021,” said the four leaders. “But this can reach even 40% through other agreements and surge investment, and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022.”
Governments are urged to act on the investment opportunity to boost supplies of vaccines, oxygen, tests and treatment. The IMF, WBG, WHO and WTO leaders issued their joint statement as the World Health Assembly drew to a conclusion and a round of G7 meetings were set to start, beginning with a Finance Ministers convening later this week, and following a Global Health Summit co-hosted by the EU and Italy, which chairs the G20.
“To urgently get more shots in arms, doses need to be donated immediately to developing countries synchronized with national vaccine deployment plans, including through COVAX,” said the four leaders. “Cooperation on trade is also needed to ensure free cross-border flows and increasing supplies of raw materials and finished vaccines”
The IMF, WBG, WHO and WTO leaders are scheduled to participate in a joint press conference on Tuesday, 1 June to outline the new joint roadmap to ending the pandemic and driving a truly global and fast recovery.