L-R: Kristalina Georgieva (IMF), David Malpass (World Bank), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (WHO) and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (WTO) Photo: WTO

World Bank, IMF, WHO, WTO move to fast-track global vaccine access, inclusive development

*Leaders of the UN agencies have stated as several countries are struggling with new variants and a third wave of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, there is a need to accelerate vaccine access to end the damaging Coronavirus pandemic everywhere and achieve inclusive development

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In continuation of their multidimensional consultations and interventions in ensuring vaccine availability and vaccine equity for all humanity, the Directors-General  of the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Trade Organisatiion (WTO) recently convened the first meeting of the Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics for Developing Countries.

ConsumerConnect reports that David Malpass, Kristalina Georgieva (IMF), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (WHO) and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (WTO) jointly stated that an imperative action is needed to stop the rising human toll due to the pandemic.

According to them, this aims to halt further divergence in the economic recovery between advanced economies and the rest of the world.

They equally are taking steps to address hesitancy, and to coordinate efforts at addressing gaps in readiness on the part of the partner countries.

They said in a joint statement issued after the conference, that “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.”

The heads of the UN agencies noted: “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.

The leaders also said that they had 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.

These are all designed to support the priorities set out by World Bank Group, IMF, WHO, and WTO, including in the joint statements of June 1 and June 3, and in the IMF staff’s $50 billion proposal.

The statement said: “At today’s 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.”

The leaders submitted that as an urgent first step, they urged G20 countries to (1) embrace the target of at least 40 percent in every country by end-2021, and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022,

(2) share more vaccine doses now, including by ensuring at least  1 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.

Besides, in order to enhance transparency in the process, the Directors-General of the global organisations stated that they “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.”

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