IMF urges rich countries to donate Covid-19 vaccine

The G7 countries supplied only 14 percent of the total promised vaccines.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, WASHINGTON – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urges rich countries to increase their supplies Covid-19 vaccination in low-income countries.

Chief economist IMF Gita Gopinath calls for coordinated and accountable action to ensure the world reaches its Covid-19 vaccination target of 40 percent of people in each country by the end of 2021. She supports India’s latest decision to resume vaccine exports.

“But countries with major economic powers should also increase vaccine deliveries in order to keep their promises,” said Gopinath Rappler on Wednesday (22/9).

The pandemic has killed nearly five million people worldwide. The IMF has warned of very unequal health outlooks. As only two percent of people in low-income countries have so far been vaccinated, this poses a major risk.

Gopinath says rich lands G7 delivered only 14 percent of the promised total vaccination dose. If vaccine shipments rise to 50 percent, he is optimistic that enough doses will be available to meet the global target of 2021.

“It is not enough to make announcements and promises. You have to do it,” said Gopinath.

Gopinath added that one of the outcomes of the Covid-19 summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden was a more systematic way of holding rich countries accountable.

“I think (ending the pandemic) is still a solvable problem and it can be done as long as you get countries and vaccine manufacturers to band together and achieve that goal,” Gopinath said.

Gopinath emphasized the importance of an adequate supply of vaccines. Especially in African countries with large deficits at the end of the year.

Gopinath and IMF human resources economist Ruchir Agarwal released a $ 50 billion proposal in May, building on efforts by the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other groups to end the Covid-19 pandemic. It does this by vaccinating at least 40 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021.

The plan, later endorsed by the WHO, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Bank, called for vaccination rates to be increased to at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022.

US President Joe Biden has called on world leaders to raise this target to 70 percent by next year’s UN General Assembly.