• Wednesday, May 29, 2024

WORLD

IMF proposes $50b plan to vaccinate everyone by 2022

International Monetary Fund headquarters(IMF) building in Washington, DC (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pooja Shrivastava

THE INTERNATIONAL monetary fund (IMF) has proposed a $50 billion plan to end the Covid-19 pandemic on Friday (21) with a target to vaccinate 40 per cent of the world’s population by the end of 2021 and the rest 60 per cent by 2022.

“Saving lives and livelihoods should need no justification, but a faster end to the pandemic could also inject the equivalent of $9 trillion into the global economy by 2025 due to a faster resumption of economic activity,” the IMF  said.

The $50 billion is a combination of at least $35 billion in grants, $22 billion of which G20 nations have already pledged, and $15 billion in low-cost lending, the IMF said. The plan was presented by IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva to the world leaders at the G20 Global Health Summit in Rome. 

“Our proposal sets targets, estimates financing requirements, and lays out pragmatic action,” Georgieva said.”For some time we have been warning of a dangerous divergence of economic fortunes.”

She further added that the IMF seeks to address the gap between rich countries and poor in accessing the vaccines.

At the end of April, less than two per cent of the population of Africa had been vaccinated while more than 40 per cent of the population in the United States and more than 20 per cent in Europe had received at least one dose of vaccine, the IMF said.

The fund will prioritise closing the vaccine gap to put the world back on the path to growth to “help bring the pandemic substantially under control everywhere for everyone’s benefit.”

As India faces a Covid emergency with more than 4,000 deaths daily, the IMF called for more action by the G20 nations, including grants, concessional lending, and donations of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.

Among other actions suggested in the proposal are upfront grants to COVAX, the global initiative to help developing nations get vaccines, of at least $4 billion. This financing will help finalise orders and activate unused vaccine capacity, according to the IMF.

It also calls for ensuring free cross-border flows of raw materials and finished vaccines and rich countries to immediately donate surplus vaccines.

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