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IMF Plans $50b To End COVID-19

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is planning a $50 billion fund to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gatekeepers News reports that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has activated $50 billion to arrest the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, in a ‘Proposal to End the COVID-19 Pandemic’, stressed the need to put an end to the rising human toll and economic strain from the pandemic.

According to the proposal, there will be provision for vaccination for at least, 40 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and at least, 60 percent by the first half of 2022.

The IMF proposal further consists of grants, national government resources, and concessional financing.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva

Georgieva said: “There is a strong case for grant financing of, at least, $35 billion. The good news is G20 governments have already identified it as important to address the $22 billion grant funding gap noted by the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. This leaves an estimated $13 billion in additional grant contributions needed.

“The remainder of the overall financing plan—around $15 billion – could come from national governments, potentially supported by COVID-19 financing facilities created by multilateral development banks.”

She stated that saving lives and livelihoods has justification, adding that a faster end to the pandemic could also inject the equivalent of $9 trillion into the global economy by 2025 due to a faster resumption of economic activity.

The IMF Managing Director said: “Many countries have stepped up in the global fight against the pandemic, as have institutions such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank, Gavi (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization), the African Union, and others.

“Yet, more than a year into the COVID-19 crisis, new cases worldwide are higher than ever.”

Georgieva, however, stressed that the pandemic is a solvable problem, which requires further coordinated global action.

She warned that economic recoveries are diverging dangerously, stressing that there will further disparities between wealthy countries that have widespread access to vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics and poorer countries that are still struggling to inoculate frontline healthcare workers.

According to her, as of the end of April, less than two percent of Africa’s population had been vaccinated which is in contrast to the over 40 percent of the population in the United States (U.S.) and over 20 percent in Europe that had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at Global Health Summit, co-hosted by the European Commission and the Italian G20 Presidency stated that WTO members could contribute to greater equity in the global distribution of vaccines.

Director-General, WTO, Okonjo-Iweala

Okonjo-Iweala said achieving the goal would require lowering supply chain barriers, fully using existing production capacity, and addressing issues related to intellectual property, access, and innovation.

She described equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics as “the moral and economic issue of our time”.

Okonjo-Iweala noted that that the pandemic had made clear that “policymakers need to think of preparedness, response, and resilience as one interconnected package”.

International cooperation on trade is important for all three elements of this package, she said, adding that trade has been a “force for good” in the pandemic by enabling access to much-needed medical supplies.

Okonjo-Iweala said: ”First, tackling supply chain issues holding back vaccine production, from export restrictions and excessive customs bureaucracy to problems accessing raw materials or hiring skilled workers. The WTO can help with supply chain monitoring and transparency.”

She added that the second action is helping manufacturers scale up by “keeping supply lines open and matching underused capacity with unmet needs.”

The WTO Boss added: “In the longer run, especially if COVID is with us for years, we need a more geographically diversified global vaccine manufacturing base. Having less than 0.2 percent of capacity in Africa is not a recipe for supply resilience.”

Okonjo-Iweala stated that WTO would work with the World Health Organisation, Gavi, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations on the COVAX vaccine manufacturing task force to advance equitable access.

Okonjo-Iweala said WTO members “must address issues related to technology transfer, know-how and intellectual property,” including the proposed temporary waiver from WTO intellectual property rules for vaccines and other pandemic-related products.

She added: “We must act now to get all our ambassadors to the table to negotiate a text.

“This is the only way we can move forward quickly, we can’t move forward with speeches and polemics.”

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