The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Saturday said the pandemic remains the fundamental risk facing the world and called for urgent action to fast track vaccinations across the globe.
In a statement at the conclusion of the G20 meeting in Italy, the IMf Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said with the dangerous wave of a highly transmissible variant now making it way across the global, vaccination process should be accelerated to cover at least 40 percent of the population of every country by end of 2021 and 60 percent by middle of 2022.
“The World Bank, WHO, WTO and IMF, in close collaboration with ACT-A, has formed a task force-a ‘war room’- to help achieve this goal and I very much welcome the G20 support to prioritize acceleration of the delivery of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.
“By providing faster access to vaccines to high-risk populations, more than half a million lives could be saved this year. And a normal return to activity everywhere could add $9 trillion to the global economy through 2025—the $50 billion cost of this pandemic plan pales by comparison,” Georgieva stated.
According to her, theimplement sound macroeconomic policies continue to play a pivotal role in securing the recovery.
“Fiscal policy should provide well-designed support, tailored to country circumstances, to protect the most vulnerable and minimize scarring. As economies exit the crisis, policies should facilitate stronger, more sustainable, and more inclusive growth.
“Monetary policy should remain accommodative, as inflationary pressures are likely to be temporary. But should a pick-up in inflation turn out to be more permanent, some large economies further ahead in the recovery may need to tighten sooner than expected.
“Central banks will need to communicate policy intentions clearly to avoid triggering adverse spillovers. Should tighter financial market conditions materialize sooner than anticipated, the Fund is prepared to assist its members to ensure the recovery remains on track.”
Sje noted that the IMF’s new SDR allocation of $650 billion will increase countries’ reserves, create additional space for vaccine financing, and boost confidence in the recovery.
“To magnify the impact of the allocation, we will move quickly to explore options for economically stronger members to voluntarily use their SDRs to help poor and vulnerable countries.
“Scaling up the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) is a tried-and-tested option that will enable us to provide zero-interest financial support to low-income countries through the medium term.
“We are also exploring the possibility of creating a new Resilience and Sustainability Trust for vulnerable members to build forward better, including through financing for greener, more resilient and sustainable growth over the medium term.
“I greatly appreciate the support for these measures expressed by the G20 at this meeting. There was also support for our efforts to help countries facing unsustainable debt burdens,” the IMF chief said.