As the UK prepares for the G7 summit next week, ending the pandemic and ensuring a global recovery are high on the agenda. We face great challenges.
It is now quite clear that there will be no widespread recovery until the health crisis is over. Either way, getting vaccinated plays an important role.
As for vaccinations, impressive progress has been made. Scientists have developed several vaccines in record time. Supporting unprecedented public and private funding for vaccine research, development and expansion. But the big gap between rich and poor countries remains.
The warning about the consequences of a pandemic is twofold
While some rich countries are already considering introducing booster vaccines to their populations, the vast majority of people in developing countries, and even health workers working on the front lines, have yet to receive their first vaccination. And the countries worst affected are low-income countries, which have received less than 1 percent of the vaccines they have received so far.
An increasingly twofold pandemic is developing: the rich countries have access and the poor are left by the wayside.
The uneven distribution of vaccines not only means that millions of people are powerless against the virus, but also that deadly variants are emerging and spreading around the world. The variables are more and more prevalent, and even countries with advanced vaccination campaigns are forced to re-enact stricter health regulations; Some have imposed travel restrictions. At the same time, the ongoing pandemic is leading to a growing disparity in economic outlook, which has drawbacks for everyone.
It doesn’t have to be this way. That is why we call on the international community today to support and implement a strengthened and coordinated global vaccination strategy and augment it with new financial resources.
A plan that everyone benefits
A recent proposal by International Monetary Fund staff provides for a plan with clear goals, practical measures, and reasonable costs. It adopts and promotes the work of the World Health Organization and its partners in the ACT Accelerator Initiative (Access to Covid-19 Tools) and the Covax Program for Global Access to Vaccine, as well as the work of the World Bank Group, the World Trade Organization, and many others.
At an estimated cost of $ 50 billion, the plan will end the epidemic in developing countries faster, reduce infections and deaths, accelerate economic recovery, and generate about $ 9 trillion in additional global economic output by 2025. It’s good for everyone: while about 60 percent Of the profits that will benefit emerging and developing countries, the remaining 40 percent will go to industrialized countries. This does not take into account even the invaluable benefits to human health and life.
What are the results of implementing this plan?
First: Become more ambitious and vaccinate more people faster: The World Health Organization and its Covax partners have set a goal of vaccinating about 30 percent of the population in every country by the end of 2021. However, with more agreements and higher investments, even 40 percent and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022.
This will require additional financing for low- and middle-income countries, in the form of grants and largely concessional funds. In order for more vaccinations to be given quickly, doses should be donated to developing countries immediately and in accordance with relevant national vaccination programs, for example through Covax. In trade, too, cooperation is needed to ensure free supplies across borders and to increase supplies of finished raw materials and vaccines.
Second: Protection from risks such as new variants that may require booster vaccines. this means:
That vaccine production capacity needs to be expanded to produce at least one billion additional doses,
To expand production to areas of currently low capacity,
Technology and knowledge must be used together, genome monitoring and supply chains must be intensified.
And contingency plans must be put in place to deal with virus mutations and supply bottlenecks.
All obstacles to expanding the width must be removed. We call on members of the World Trade Organization to accelerate negotiations on a practical intellectual property solution. Many low- and middle-income countries have also begun to invest in their manufacturing capacity, which is important not only to end this epidemic but also to prepare for the next one.
third: Immediate intensification of testing and traceability, oxygenation, and therapeutic and health policy measures with accelerated vaccine delivery and ACT Accelerator Initiative. WHO, UNICEF, World Bank and Gavi have screened vaccination readiness in more than 140 developing countries and have financially supported and supported preparations for on-site vaccination campaigns.
How high are the costs?
There is much to suggest that at least $ 35 billion of the total of $ 50 billion will be provided in grants. The governments of the G20 countries have been positive and realize the importance of providing the ACT Accelerator Initiative with an additional funding of nearly $ 22 billion for 2021.
This amount will have to be increased with an additional $ 13 billion in grants to expand vaccine supplies in 2022, as well as expansion of testing, curative interventions, and surveillance. The rest of the total budget – about $ 15 billion – could come from governments supported by multilateral development banks, including the World Bank’s $ 12 billion financing facility for vaccinations.
There are two additional conditions for the success of this plan: speed and coordination.
Requires advance– financing, advance– vaccine donations, advanceInvesting and planning rather than promises that may not be fulfilled until later. It is vitally important to have all of this As fast as possible Available.
The plan requires coordinated global action on a full-fledged basis Transparency Procurement and supply operations. The success of the strategy depends on the coming together of all of those involved – public and private actors, international financial institutions, and foundations – together.
Investing $ 50 billion to end the pandemic is perhaps the best use of public money we’ll ever see. It will pay significant development returns and increase growth and prosperity around the world. But the time window will close soon. The longer we wait, the more costly it will be: in the form of human suffering and economic loss.
On behalf of our four organizations, today we announce a new commitment to work together to increase the necessary funding, boost production, and ensure the smooth delivery of vaccines and raw materials across borders, so that access to the vaccine is greatly facilitated, health care and economic recovery to support and awaken the necessary hope.
Our organizations are doing everything they can to make this hope a reality:
The International Monetary Fund is preparing for an unprecedented grant of special drawing rights (SDRs) to increase reserves and liquidity for its members.
The World Health Organization is seeking funding to meet the most urgent needs of the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan and the ACT Accelerator Initiative, as the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) provides incentives to share the knowledge and technology it creates.
The World Bank will launch vaccine projects in at least 50 countries by the middle of the year, while the International Finance Corporation mobilizes the private sector to improve vaccine supplies in developing countries.
The WTO is looking to loosen supply chain restrictions so that the scheme works.
Ending the epidemic is a solvable problem, but one that requires global action. right Now.
Let’s work together.