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The Financial Express

Accelerate the global vaccine access


Accelerate the global vaccine access

As many countries are struggling with new variants and a third wave of Covid-19 infections, accelerating access to vaccines becomes even more critical to ending the pandemic everywhere and achieving broad-based growth. We are deeply concerned about the limited vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and support for deliveries available to developing countries. Urgent action is needed now to arrest the rising human toll due to the pandemic, and to halt further divergence in the economic recovery between advanced economies and the rest.

We have formed a Task Force, as a "war room" to help track, coordinate and advance delivery of Covid-19 health tools to developing countries and to mobilise relevant stakeholders and national leaders to remove critical roadblocks - in support of the priorities set out by World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Health Organisation (WHO), and World Trade Organisation (WTO) including in the joint statements of June 1 and June 3, and in the IMF staff's $50 billion proposal.

At today's (June 30) first meeting, we discussed the urgency of increasing supplies of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for developing countries. We also looked at practical and effective ways to track, coordinate and advance delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to developing countries.

As an urgent first step, we are calling on G20 countries to (1) embrace the target of at least 40 per cent in every country by end-2021, and at least 60 per cent by the first half of 2022, (2) share more vaccine doses now, including by ensuring at least  1.0 billion doses are shared with developing countries in 2021 starting immediately, (3) provide financing, including grants and concessional financing, to close the residual gaps, including for the ACT-Accelerator, and (4) remove all barriers to export of inputs and finished vaccines, and other barriers to supply chain operations.

In addition, to enhance transparency we agreed to compile data on dose requests (by type and quantity), contracts, deliveries (including through donations), and deployments of Covid-19 vaccines to low and middle-income countries - and make it available as part of a shared country-level dashboard. We also agreed to take steps to address hesitancy, and to coordinate efforts to address gaps in readiness, so countries are positioned to receive, deploy and administer vaccines

The writers are the heads of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization

and the World Trade Organization

respectively. The piece is the joint statement issued

by them after the first meeting of the Task Force

on COVID-19 Vaccines, Therapeutics and

Diagnostics for Developing Countries.

 

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