MIL-OSI Translation: A new commitment to vaccine equity and to defeat the pandemic

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MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –

Source: IMF in French

By Kristalina Georgieva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Malpass and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

June 1, 2021

As the G7 summit in the UK prepares for next week, one point dominates the agenda: how to end the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure global recovery. We face pressing challenges.

It is now clear that there will not be a widespread recovery until the health crisis is over. Access to vaccination is essential in both cases.

Immunization has made impressive progress. Scientists have developed several vaccines in record time. Never-before-seen public and private funding has come to support vaccine research, development and scale-up. However, there remains a dangerous divide between rich countries and poorer nations.

In fact, even as some wealthy countries are already considering rolling out boosters for their populations, the vast majority of people in developing countries, and even frontline health workers, still have not received their first injection. Low-income countries are the worst off, having received less than one percent of the vaccines administered so far.

We are increasingly witnessing the development of a two-speed pandemic, with access to vaccines restricted to the richest countries, while the poorest are left behind.

The disparity in vaccine distribution not only leaves millions of people at the mercy of the virus, but it also allows the emergence of lethal variants, which in turn has repercussions around the world. As new variants spread, even countries with advanced vaccination programs have been forced to resort to new, stricter public health measures, with some even imposing travel restrictions. For its part, the current pandemic is further widening economic gaps, which has negative consequences for all.

This should not be inevitable. This is why we call on the international community today to strengthen the support and implementation of a coordinated and scaled up strategy to immunize the planet, with new funding.

Recently, IMF staff came up with a plan with clear goals and pragmatic actions, at a realistic cost. It builds on the ongoing work of WHO, its Mechanism partners to accelerate access to tools to fight COVID-19 (ACT Accelerator) and its global vaccine access program, the Mechanism. COVAX. It also builds on the work of the World Bank Group, the WTO and many others.

At an estimated cost of US $ 50 billion, it will end the pandemic more quickly in developing countries, reduce the number of infections and deaths, accelerate economic recovery and generate some 9 trillion dollars. US dollars in additional production gains globally by 2025. Everyone wins – while about 60% of the gains will go to emerging markets and developing economies, the remaining 40% will benefit developed countries. And those numbers don’t take into account the invaluable benefits the plan would have on people’s health and lives.

What does this imply ?

First, increase our ambition and vaccinate more people more quickly: WHO and its partners in the COVAX Mechanism have set themselves the goal of vaccinating at least 30% of the population in all countries by the end of 2021. However, other agreements and new investments would even reach 40% of the population and at least 60% by the end of the first half of 2022.

This requires additional funds to support low- and middle-income countries, much of it in the form of grants and concessional financing. In order to be able to increase the number of injections urgently, it is necessary without further delay to donate doses to developing countries in accordance with national vaccine deployment plans, including through the COVAX Mechanism. Cooperation on trade-related issues is also necessary to ensure free movement between countries and increased supplies of raw materials and finished vaccines.

Second, provide insurance against risks, including new variants that may require booster injections. This means investing in strengthening the production capacity of vaccines of at least one billion doses, diversifying production by bringing it to regions with weak current capacities, sharing technologies and know-how. , step up genomic and supply chain surveillance, and make contingency plans to deal with virus mutations or supply shocks.

All obstacles to the expansion of supply should be removed and we call on WTO members to speed up negotiations for a pragmatic solution on intellectual property. A number of low- and middle-income countries are also preparing to invest in their own local manufacturing capacity, which is essential not only to end this pandemic, but also to prepare for the next.

Third, boost testing and contact tracing, oxygen supplies, treatment and public health measures now, while strengthening vaccine deployment and strengthening the ACT Accelerator. WHO, UNICEF, World Bank and Gavi have conducted immunization readiness assessments in more than 140 developing countries and provided support and funding on the ground to prepare for vaccine deployment .

What about the costs?

Of the US $ 50 billion needed, there is a strong case for subsidizing at least US $ 35 billion. G20 governments have sent positive signals and recognized that it was important to provide approximately US $ 22 billion in additional funding to the ACT Accelerator for 2021.

About US $ 13 billion is still needed to boost vaccine supply in 2022 and to step up testing, treatment and surveillance. The remainder of the overall financing plan – around US $ 15 billion – could come from national governments supported by multilateral development banks, including the US $ 12 billion financial instrument put in place. place by the World Bank for immunization.

However, for this plan to work, there are two additional conditions: speed and coordination.

The plan calls for upfront funding, vaccine donations and precautionary investments – rather than commitments that may be slow to materialize. It is essential that all of this is made available as soon as possible.

It also demands coordinated global action, based on the procurement and delivery processes in full transparency. For this strategy to succeed, all parties – public, private and international financial institutions, as well as foundations – must act in concert.

Investing US $ 50 billion to end the pandemic may be the best use of public money we’ll see in our lifetimes. This will have huge development benefits and boost global growth and well-being. However, action must be taken quickly to seize this opportunity – the longer we wait, the greater the cost – in human suffering and economic loss.

On behalf of our four organizations, today we are announcing a new commitment to work together to increase required funding, encourage manufacturing, and ensure the unhindered flow of vaccines and raw materials between countries in a manner to dramatically improve access to vaccines in support of the health response and economic recovery, and to provide the necessary hope.

Our institutions are mobilizing to make this hope a reality:

The IMF is preparing an unprecedented allocation of Special Drawing Rights with the aim of consolidating the reserves and liquidity of its members. WHO is seeking to identify funding in order to meet the urgent needs of its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan and the partnership of the ACT Accelerator, the COVID-19 Technology Access Group (C-TAP) encouraging the pooling of know-how and technologies. The World Bank will implement immunization projects in at least 50 countries by mid-year, with the International Finance Corporation working to mobilize the private sector to boost vaccine supply for developing countries. Finally, the WTO is working to free up supply chains for the plan to succeed.

Ending the pandemic is a fixable problem that requires global action now.

Let us all come together to complete this task.

Kristalina Georgieva is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the Managing Director of the World Health Organization, David Malpass is the President of the World Bank Group and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the Managing Director of the World organization of commerce.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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