The World Bank, World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) have endorsed the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s call to invest $50 billion to fight COVID-19 by making and delivering vaccine and treatment. “Governments must act without further delay or risk continued waves and explosive outbreaks of COVID-19 as well as more transmissible and deadly virus variants undermining the global recovery,” the four organisations said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
IMF, last month, proposed the spending plan, which targets immunising at least 40 per cent of the global population by the end of this year – up from the 30 per cent goal set by WHO’s Covax vaccine initiative – and 60 per cent or more by the first half of 2022.
The groups, on Tuesday, called for the immediate donation of vaccine doses to developing countries. The plan will require additional financing for low and middle income countries, with much of it coming from grants and below-market-rate loans, the groups said. It also entails investing to boost vaccine production capacity by at least one billion doses, increasing output in regions and countries that at present make little. The blueprint also urges boosting testing and tracing, oxygen supplies and public health measures, while ramping up vaccination and the work of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, the campaign led by the WHO and others.