Heads of global organisations plead for $50b vaccine equity

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 00:00 |
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo/AFP

Washington, Wednesday

Global health and economic leaders have called on countries to back urgent financing actions to flatten vaccine inequities and bring the Covid-19 pandemic to an end faster.

Government leaders worldwide should help finance a $50-billion roadmap to boost equitable distribution of medical supplies and vaccines and to jumpstart a “truly global and quick” recovery, said chiefs of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank Group, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO). 

“While we’re encouraged that cases and deaths are continuing to decline in many areas globally.

There is no room for complacency,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a joint press conference on Tuesday.

“The consistent use of public health measures in combination with equitable access to medical supplies, oxygen, tests, treatments, and vaccines remains critical,” Ghebreyesus said.

“And today, I’m happy to announce that the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine has been given WHO Emergency Use Listing after being found to be safe, effective, and quality assured following two does of the inactivated vaccine,” said the WHO chief.

Vaccinate world population

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters that the plan, proposed by the IMF in May, would vaccinate at least 40 percent of the world population by 2021, and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022, while providing additional upfront grants to COVAX, a global vaccine access programme led by the WHO.

The plan would help track downside risks such as new variants and ensure widespread testing and tracing, stock of therapeutics as well as health measures in places where vaccine supply is limited, Georgieva said.

The IMF chief noted countries with more fiscal space and rapid vaccinations are coming out of the crisis faster, but poorer ones are left behind, “that is dangerous for everyone because it would hold the global recovery back.” 

“It is now increasingly clear to leaders everywhere and to ordinary people that we are not going to succeed in overcoming the economic crisis this pandemic triggered, unless we bring the pandemic to a durable end,” Georgieva said in response to a question from Xinhua.

She noted that vaccinating the world is the most effective way to boost global output in the near term.

According to IMF estimation, a faster vaccination rollout could inject the equivalent of 9 trillion dollars into the global economy by 2025, due to a faster resumption of economic activity. 

Georgieva said that 60 percent of the 9 trillion dollar benefits would go to emerging markets in developing countries, and 40 percent will go to advanced economies to mobilise everyone. - Xinhua

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