$50 billion COVID roadmap vital to combat pandemic

Governments across the world have been urged to back a $50 billion roadmap that will see a more equitable distribution of COVID vaccines which has been identified as the key to a global recovery.

The heads of the world’s predominant global financing, health and trade agencies have made the call saying better distribution of health tools will not only help end the pandemic but set the foundations for a truly global recovery, as well as enhanced health security.

In a statement published by newspapers around the world, Kristalina Georgieva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Malpass and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization said governments must act without further delay or risk continued waves and explosive outbreaks of COVID-19 as well as more transmissible and deadly virus variants undermining the global recovery.

Leaders of the four agencies said: “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 joint statement draws on a recent IMF staff analysis, which stated 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 group.

“It echoes economic analysis by the International Chamber of Commerce; and the Eurasia Group – both of which make the case for a relatively modest investment by governments in comparison to the trillions spent on national stimulus plans and lost trillions in foregone economic output,” said the statement. “But the critical element of this is that it effectively spurs global vaccination and bridges the equity gap.”

“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.”

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.”

In a statement published by newspapers around the world, Kristalina Georgieva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Malpass and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization said governments must act without further delay or risk continued waves and explosive outbreaks of COVID-19 as well as more transmissible and deadly virus variants undermining the global recovery.

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