Urgent action is needed to stop the growing human toll and economic pressure.
Many countries have stepped up the global fight against the pandemic, as have institutions such as the World Health Organization, the World Bank, Gavi (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization), the African Union and ‘other.
Yet more than a year after the start of the Covid-19 crisis, new cases around the world are higher than ever. Urgent action is needed to stop the growing human toll and economic pressure.
As the IMF has warned, economic recoveries diverge dangerously. Disparities will widen further between rich countries which have widespread access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapies, and poorer countries which still struggle to immunize frontline health workers. By the end of April 2021, less than 2% of the African population had been vaccinated. In contrast, more than 40 percent of the population in the United States and more than 20 percent in Europe had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Of course, there can be no lasting end to the economic crisis without an end to the health crisis. The pandemic policy is therefore an economic policy. It is essential for global macroeconomic and financial stability, which makes it of fundamental importance to the IMF and other economic institutions. Ending the pandemic is an issue that can be solved, but requires additional coordinated global action.
The latest staff research analyzes the multiple dimensions of the pandemic response and proposes realistic goals for significantly bringing the pandemic under control everywhere – and the means to achieve them. Building on the work of other agencies, the proposal aims to immunize at least 40% of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and at least 60% by the first half of 2022, to follow and insuring against the risks of deterioration, and ensuring widespread testing and tracing, maintaining adequate stocks of therapeutic products and implementing public health measures in places with low immunization coverage.
It is important to note that the strategy requires not only commitments, but upfront funding, initial vaccine donations, and “risky” investments for the world to insure against downside scenarios.
The total cost of the proposal of around $ 50 billion would include grants, domestic government resources and concessional financing.
There is a strong case for grant funding of at least $ 35 billion. The good news is that G-20 governments have already identified as important to close the $ 22 billion funding gap noted by the Covid-19 Tool Access Accelerator (ACT). That leaves about $ 13 billion in additional subsidies needed.
The remainder of the overall financing plan – around $ 15 billion – could come from national governments, potentially backed by the Covid-19 financing facilities created by multilateral development banks.
Saving lives and livelihoods shouldn’t require justification, but an earlier end of the pandemic could also inject the equivalent of $ 9 trillion into the global economy by 2025 due to a recovery faster economic activity. Advanced economies, likely to spend the most in this effort, would see the highest return on public investment in modern history – capturing 40% of the cumulative $ 9 trillion in global GDP gains and roughly $ 1,000 billion. additional tax revenue.
Recommendations for action
Achieve immunization goals
1. Provide additional initial grants to Covax of at least $ 4 billion. This funding will make it possible to finalize orders and activate unused vaccine capacities.
2. Ensure the free cross-border movement of raw materials and finished vaccines: Such restrictions jeopardize access to vaccines for billions of people in the developing world.
3. Give away surplus vaccines immediately: We predict that at least 500 million courses of vaccines (equivalent to about 1 billion doses) can be given in 2021, even if countries prioritize their own population. Donations, including delivery costs, must be made through Covax so that vaccines are shared on fair and public health principles.
We predict that the measures identified in Steps 1 to 3 could be sufficient to achieve the 40% vaccination target by the end of 2021 and the 60% target by the first half of 2022, if no risk of decline does not materialize.
Insure against downside risks
4. Make risky investments to diversify and increase vaccine production capacity by one billion doses in early 2022 to manage downside risks in 91 low- and middle-income countries, including from new variants may require booster injections. [$8 billion]
5. Intensify genomic surveillance and systemic supply chain surveillance with concrete contingency plans in place to manage possible changes or shocks in the supply chain. These plans should be prepared with the participation of multilateral agencies, vaccine developers and manufacturers, and key national governments. [$3 billion]
Manage the interim period when vaccine supply is limited
6. Ensure widespread testing, sufficient treatment, public health measures and prepare for vaccine deployment. [$30 billion]
7. Evaluate and implement urgently (when approved) dose-stretching strategies to increase efficient supply. [$2 billion]
The additional measures required represent $ 3 billion. Steps 4 to 7 are necessary to guard against downside risks and to mitigate the health consequences of the pandemic during the interim period.
The proposal complements the work of the G-20 High-Level Independent Group, the G-7 Pandemic Preparedness Partnership Group, and the Independent Pandemic Preparedness and Response Group Report, which primarily focuses on pandemic preparedness and response. fight against future pandemics. This proposal focuses on what is needed to bring the current pandemic under control. To make it effective, countries must work together.
The world does not have to live the pain of another record wave of COVID-19 cases. With strong global action now and with very little in terms of funding compared to disproportionate benefits, we can come out of this health crisis sustainably.
– IMF blog