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The Financial Express

IMF says ending COVID-19 pandemic possible at cost of $50b

| Updated: May 22, 2021 08:21:55


The IMF projected some 1.0 billion doses could be donated this year even if countries prioritised their own populations - AP The IMF projected some 1.0 billion doses could be donated this year even if countries prioritised their own populations - AP

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday unveiled a $50 billion proposal to end the COVID-19 pandemic by vaccinating at least 40 per cent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and at least 60 per cent by the first half of 2022.

Doing so, IMF officials say, would inject the equivalent of $9.0 trillion into the global economy by 2025 due to a faster resumption of economic activity, with rich countries potentially benefiting the most.

The crisis has killed more than 3.5 million people across the world, and projections point to highly unequal health prospects well into 2022, which poses "severe risks for the world," the IMF said.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told a health summit hosted by the European Commission and Group of 20 major economies that it made sense for rich economies to boost donations to ensure a faster end to the pandemic.

"Advanced economies - asked to contribute most to this effort - would likely see the highest return on public investment in modern history, capturing 40 per cent of the GDP gains and roughly $1.0 trillion in additional tax revenues," she said in her prepared remarks.

The proposal, drafted by IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath and staff economist Ruchir Agarwal, builds on efforts already under way by the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, United Nations, World Health Organization and other groups.

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