The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday proposed 50 billion U.S. dollars to speed up vaccinations, boost testing and tracing, and maintain adequate stocks of therapeutics, urging coordinated global action to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite stepped-up global efforts, more than a year into the COVID-19 crisis, “new cases worldwide are higher than ever,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, chief economist Gita Gopinath and economist Ruchir Agarwal, wrote in a blog.
“Urgent action is needed to arrest the rising human toll and economic strain,” they said.
“Ending the pandemic is a solvable problem but requires further coordinated global action.”
Noting that economic recoveries are diverging dangerously, Georgieva and her colleagues said that as of the end of April 2021, less than two percent of Africa’s population had been vaccinated.
By contrast, over 40 percent of the population in the United States and over 20 percent in Europe had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The 50-billion-dollar proposal aims to vaccinate at least 40 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022, according to the blog.
It also aims to track and insure against downside risks, ensure widespread testing and tracing, maintain adequate stocks of therapeutics, and enforce public health measures in places where vaccine coverage is low.
Georgieva and her colleagues noted that the Group of Twenty (G20) governments have already indicated their willingness to address the 22 billion-dollar grant funding gap noted by the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, a global collaboration platform launched by the World Health Organization and its partners.