New Telegraph

February 25, 2024

IMF: $15bn required to manage long-term risks of COVID

Countries around the world should provide $15 billion in grants this year and $10 billion a year thereafter to manage the longterm risks of Covid-19, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a new staff paper released yesterday.

 

The paper, “A global strategy to manage the long-term risks of Covid-19,” prepared with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Global Fund, and charitable group Wellcome Trust, calls for a more comprehensive and immediate response from the international community to  constrengthen global health systems and limit the already staggering $13.8 trillion cost of the pandemic.

 

IMF First Deputy Managing Director, Gita Gopinath, said: “It is now clear that Covid-19 is likely to be with us for the long-term. Given the many possible scenarios for the evolution of Covid-19 (from benign to severe scenarios), and given the limited resources countries have, we need a new strategy.

“Countries need a more comprehensive Covid-19 toolkit for fighting the pandemic that includes vaccines, tests, treatments – and bolstering the resilience of health systems so they are in a better position to tackle both Covid-19 and other deadly diseases in a sustainable, effective way.

 

“Overall, health security is economic security. As recently as our January World Economic Outlook Update, we’d estimated the cumulative losses from the pandemic to reach $13.8 trillion.

 

The international community should recognize that its pandemic financing addresses a systemic risk to the global economy. “Thus, we are calling for additional funding to fight pandemics and to strengthen health systems. This will require about $15 billion in grants this year and $10 billion annually after that.

 

The cost of inaction – for all of us – is very high. We need to act – now.” On his part, Director at the Wellcome Trust charity, Jeremy Farrar, said: “These last two years have shown that remarkable progress is possible when the world comes together and supports science boldly at scale, across borders.

 

“Now is not the time to ease up – the virus’s next move is anything but certain and the risk of new variants high.”

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