Global agencies urged for $50bn investment to end COVID-19

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank Group, World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have made a joint call for a $50 billion investment by government leaders to accelerate the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world’s predominant financing, health and trade agencies’ heads have united to urge global leaders to urgently give financial support to accelerate the equitable distribution of health tools to end the pandemic and to set the foundations for a global recovery, as well as to boost health security.

The call came following a Global Health Summit co-hosted by the EU and Italy and ahead of a meeting of the financially powerful G7 nations scheduled to take place later this week.

In a statement, the leaders of the global agencies said that governments must act without delay or risk continued waves and explosive outbreaks of COVID-19 as well as more transmissible and deadly virus variants undermining the global recovery.

“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 leader.

The 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 financial support would also give a boost to economic growth around the world.

The global agencies’ statement also echoes the 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. 

The leaders of the four agencies pointed out that, “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.”

“Increasing our ambition and vaccinating more people faster, WHO and its COVAX partners have set a goal of vaccinating approximately 30 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021. But this can reach even 40 percent through other agreements and surge investment, and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022,” said the four leaders. 

To urgently get more shots in arms, the doses need to be donated to developing countries synchronized with national vaccine deployment plans. Cooperation on trade is also needed to make sure free cross-border flows and increasing supplies of raw materials and finished vaccines.

Related: Vaccinate at least 70% of world population to end pandemic swiftly: WHO Europe Director