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IMF, WTO seek faster distribution of COVID vaccine to boost global economy

IMF, WTO seek faster distribution of COVID vaccine to boost global economy
April 08
21:38 2021

Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), have called for faster distribution of COVID vaccine to boost global economy.

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They made the call during a debate on the global economy at the 2021 virtual spring meetings, on Thursday.

Other panelists on the debate organised by the IMF include Paschal Donohoe, finance minister of Ireland; and Jerome Powell, chairman of United States federal reserve.

In her remark, Georgieva said up to $9 trillion can be added to global economy if everyone gets vaccinated between now and 2025.

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She urged governments to prioritise vaccination programmes for their citizens, adding that vaccine policy is economic policy.

“We should recognize that for this year and next year, vaccine policy is economic policy. From now to 2025, we can save up to $9 trillion if everyone is vaccinated faster,” the IMF MD said.

Globally, 690 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered.

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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Africa has received less than two percent of total administered doses.

Speaking during the debate, Okonjo-Iweala said effective vaccination will help boost trade and contribute to global economy.

“We believe trade can contribute more by making vaccines more available, by lowering export restrictions, working with manufacturers to up volumes and getting more of the vaccines around the world,” she said.

Georgieva also advocated support for the Okonjo-Iweala, saying a reform of the WTO vital for progress on global finance, trade, and investments.

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It is estimated that global trade will increase by eight percent in 2021 while global economic growth forecast for 2021 is pegged at six percent.

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