A man receives a dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at one of the youth centres where citizens can get the vaccines without prior registration, in an effort to boost the country s vaccination drive, in Cairo, Egypt, September 27, 2021. REUTERS
In a workpaper released on Tuesday titled ‘A Global Strategy to Manage the Long-Term Risks of COVID-19’, the IMF called on the international community to provide $15 billion in grants in 2022 and $10 billion annually to deal with the long-term impact of COVID-19 globally, including fighting the pandemic and strengthening healthcare systems.
The workpaper was prepared by the IMF in collaboration with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Global Fund, and Wellcome Trust, and called for a more comprehensive and integrated pandemic response from the international community.
The four global organisations affirmed that ending the pandemic remains an urgent economic, health, and moral priority for the world.
The workpaper also highlighted that global economic recovery is still constrained by unequal access to the required tools to prevent and treat COVID-19 and uneven policy support to address the impact of the pandemic.
“Several of the challenges the global economy faces, such as supply disruptions, inflation, and persistent uncertainty, also follow the fact that the world remains in the pandemic’s grip. COVID-19 is expected to leave lasting imprints on the economic potential of many countries,” according to the workpaper.
According to data in the workpaper, 86 countries did not meet the 40 percent vaccination target by the end of 2021, while disparities in vaccine access and uptake remain significant.
Moreover, it expected that over 100 countries are unlikely to meet the 70 percent vaccination target set for mid-2022, even going as far as saying that several may never reach it in light of the current situation.
“It is now clear that COVID-19 is likely to be with us for the long-term. Given the many possible scenarios for the evolution of the virus — from benign to severe scenarios — and given the limited resources countries have, we need a new strategy,” said IMF First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath.
“Countries need a more comprehensive COVID-19 toolkit for fighting the pandemic that includes vaccines, tests, treatments, and bolstering the resilience of health systems so they are in a better position to tackle both COVID-19 and other deadly diseases in a sustainable, effective way,” she added.
Peter Sands — the executive director of the Global Fund — noted that the next phase of fighting the pandemic will be different.
“We must shift to a more sustainable response that recognises the linkages between responding to COVID-19; tackling the earlier pandemics of HIV, TB, and malaria; and preparing for future pandemic threats. We should step up investment in systems for health, intentionally maximising the synergies between interventions against existing infectious diseases and initiatives to prevent, detect, and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks,” said Sands.
“Stronger and more resilient systems for health, including community systems, will enable us to protect everyone, everywhere from the deadliest infectious diseases,” he concluded.