World leaders urged to invest $50b to end COVID-19 and secure global recovery

Heads of four global organisations have called on world leaders to inject $50 billion into the globale economy to speed up the end of the COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged the world and tanked economies.

Since the pandemic broke late 2019, there have been over 170 million infections around the world, over 3.5 million deaths and nearly 2 billion vaccine doses have been administered, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

The heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank Group (WB), World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) made the extraordinary call for financing actions by governments to accelerate the end of the pandemic.

They argued that to set the foundations for a truly global recovery, as well as enhanced health security, government leaders should urgently finance a new $50 billion roadmap to accelerate the equitable distribution of health tools to help end the pandemic that has devastated lives and livelihoods for 18 months.

In a press release copied to Ghana Business News, they  said the $50 billion investment is expected to generate $9 trillion in global economic returns by 2025 and boost manufacturing capacity, supply, trade flows and the equitable distribution of diagnostics, oxygen, treatments, medical supplies and vaccines.

The call comes at what the release describes as a perilous point in the pandemic and as the historic World Health Assembly concludes, G7 meetings commence, and follows the G20 Global Health Summit.

It indicated that doses need to be donated immediately to developing countries, synchronized with national vaccine deployment plans, including through COVAX, which is co-led by CEPI, Gavi and WHO, alongside key delivery partner UNICEF.

The leaders of Kristalina Georgieva of the IMF, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the WHO, David Malpass of the World Bank, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the WTO, 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.

The four 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 position draws from 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, it added.

“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, “ they said.

“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, adding, “but this can reach even 40 per cent through other agreements and surge investment, and at least 60 per cent by the first half of 2022.”

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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