The International Monetary Fund (IMF); the World Bank Group (WBG); the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) urged government leaders worldwide to urgently finance a new $50 billion roadmap that aims at accelerating the equitable distribution of health tools to help end the pandemic that has devastated lives and livelihoods for 18 months.
The call was launched during a joint press conference held on Tuesday, organised by the WHO; the WBG’s President David Malpass; the WTO’s director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,, and the WHO’s director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
They also called for setting the foundations for a truly global recovery, as well as enhancing health security.
The leaders of the four institutions said in a joint statement that 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 global recovery.
They added that by now, it has become abundantly clear that there will be no broad-based recovery without an end to the health crisis and that the access to vaccination is key to both.
The joint 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 injection would also give a major boost to economic growth around the world.
The proposed $50 billion finance 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, according to the joint statement.
“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,” the four leaders said in the statement.
However, this can reach even 40 percent through other agreements and surge investment, along with at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022, according to the statement.
Governments are also urged to act on the investment opportunity to boost supplies of vaccines, oxygen, tests and treatment.
Meanwhile, the four leaders expounded that doses need to be donated immediately to developing countries synchronised with national vaccine deployment plans, including through COVAX, adding that cooperation trade is also needed to ensure freecross-border flows and increasing supplies of raw materials and finished vaccines.
The IMF, WBG, WHO and WTO leaders issued their joint statement as the World Health Assembly drew to a conclusion and a round of G7 meetings were set to start, beginning with Finance Ministers convening later this week followed by a Global Health Summit co-hosted by the EU and Italy, which chairs the G20.