IMF, WHO, others call for $50 bil. investment toward ending pandemic

Jun 02 , 2021. 7 hours ago – 03:01 KYODO NEWS

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. (Kyodo)

WASHINGTON – The International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organization and other institutions on Tuesday jointly called for a $50 billion investment to support developing countries in their fight against the novel coronavirus and to keep the global economic recovery on track.

“Our data shows that in the near term vaccinating the world is the most effective way to boost global output,” IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva told an online press conference, expressing her concern that an uneven distribution of vaccines between richer and poorer nations is leading to a “two-track economic recovery” with negative consequences for all countries.

The call for the new commitment, also joined by leaders of the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, draws on a recent IMF analysis showing that $50 billion is needed to accelerate the equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics, oxygen, treatments and medical supplies.

“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,” the leaders of the four institutions said in a joint statement released the same day.

While around 60 percent of the gains would go to emerging markets and developing economies, the remaining 40 percent would benefit the developed world, they added.

The joint statement was issued in advance of an upcoming round of Group of Seven meetings, beginning with a finance ministerial gathering convening later this week in London.

Of the total proposed investment, $35 billion is envisaged to come through grants while the remainder could come from national governments, supported by concessional loans from multilateral development banks, according to the IMF.

The WHO has set a goal of vaccinating approximately 30 percent of the population in all countries by the end of this year. But the additional funds could help raise the rate to 40 percent by the end of 2021 and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022, the Washington-based institution said.

According to the WHO, around 755 million people in the world have received at least one dose of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The world’s population is currently about 7.8 billion, data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows.