The intergovernmental group of Twenty-Four (G24) has urged international financial institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide full financial assistance to developing countries to avoid long-term economic harm from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In some parts of the world, economic growth has begun, but many poor countries remain in recession due to a shortage of affordable vaccines.
Mr. Abdolnasser Hemmati, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran and Chair of the G24 Nations pointed out that “COVID-19’s destruction is global and will only be overcome with a strong global response that ensures fair distribution of vaccines and sustained support to vulnerable developing countries. The G24 believes we all must recognize our common humanity and work together to defeat this pandemic.”
According to the IMF, the world economy faces a significant loss of productivity despite a faster than anticipated recovery from the pandemic.
In 2024, global production is projected to be around 3 percent lower than pre-pandemic projections. The IMF and the World Bank are having their spring meetings this week while the IMF has already granted debt relief to 28 of the world’s poorest countries, allowing them to save money for the pandemic. Grants will cover debt-service payments due between April 14 and October 15 of this year.
The G24 praised the international community’s fast response to the crisis so far but said further action was needed to prevent long-term economic harm in vulnerable countries. It stated that countries that lack revenue or borrowing ability to boost their economies can be kept back from recovering to pre-pandemic levels.
The group praised the decision to provide debt relief, but also called for improved coordination to expand vaccine supply access.
“Access now is heavily constrained by existing supply, which has mostly been purchased by advanced economies.”
Members of the G24 urged the World Trade Organization (WTO) and development banks to find ways to boost vaccine production. That would include “addressing intellectual property rules to expand the manufacturing of vaccines and other medical products needed to treat those infected by COVID-19”.