WHO, World Bank Endorse IMF Call for $50 Billion to Fight Virus
(Bloomberg) -- The World Health Organization, World Bank and World Trade Organization endorsed the International Monetary Fund’s call to invest $50 billion to fight Covid-19 by making and delivering vaccines and treatments.
“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 the global recovery,” the four organizations said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
The IMF last month proposed the spending plan, which targets immunizing at least 40% of the global population by the end of this year -- up from the 30% goal set by the WHO’s Covax vaccine initiative -- and 60% or more by the first half of 2022. The groups on Tuesday called for the immediate donation of vaccine doses to developing countries.
The plan will require additional financing for low- and middle-income countries, with much of it coming from grants and below-market-rate loans, the groups said. It also entails investing to boost vaccine production capacity by at least one billion doses, increasing output in regions and countries that at present make little.
The blueprint also urges boosting testing and tracing, oxygen supplies and public health measures, while ramping up vaccination, and the work of the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, the campaign led by the WHO and others.
The IMF says the plan will save lives and deliver a potential $9 trillion economic boost by 2025.
Separately, IMF members are moving toward approving $650 billion in new reserve assets by the end of August to boost resources for nations, while the World Bank will have vaccine projects up and running in at least 50 countries by mid-year.
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