Working together, availability of vaccines will end COVID-19, says IMF

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By Folasade Akpan

Abuja, Nov. 24, 2020 Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), says working together and ensuring that effective vaccines and treatments are available for everyone will end the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis faster.

Georgieva said this in a statement issued on Monday in Washington D. C. at the conclusion of the Fifth “1+6” Roundtable convened by the Chinese authorities.

According to her, the debt, trade and climate change were areas where global leaders should focus policy agenda on.

“The Fifth ‘1+6’ Roundtable took place against the backdrop of an uneven global recovery almost one year into the pandemic.

“While China’s recovery continues, there are other economies that may be losing momentum as they contend with further waves of the pandemic.

“The recent news on vaccines provides hope of a durable end to this crisis, yet many challenges remain,” she said.

She added that leaders needed to work together to continue to assist the most vulnerable countries by providing debt relief and new financing.

Georgieva said that the extension of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and the new Common Framework for Debt Treatments were very welcome.

She appreciated China’s efforts in helping to reach an agreement on the initiatives and also welcomed its continued support for their implementation, which she said required rapid and effective creditor coordination.

She, however, noted that the IMF would continue to assist in these efforts.

“Second, we also need to cooperate to resolve trade tensions and modernise the international trading system to restore trade as an engine of growth.

“Reinvigorating multilateral trade reform at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and strengthening the rules-based trading system will be critical, including making the system fit for the digital era.

“I am pleased that China is taking an active role in WTO reform, including with its 2019 reform proposal,” she said.

The IMF chief said that as the world was facing a climate crisis, it would need strong policy actions and cooperation to meet the challenge.

In this regard, she said that China’s commitment in reaching carbon neutrality by 2060 was critical and welcome.

“China’s fast recovery continues thanks to resolute measures in combatting the virus, mitigating its impact, and supporting growth.

“With the right mix of supportive macroeconomic policies focused on strengthening social safety nets and further key reforms, China will secure the recovery and ensure balanced and high-quality growth, which will benefit China and the world,” Georgieva said.

China, the World Bank Group, IMF, World Trade Organisation, International Labor Organisation, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Financial Stability Board make up the “1+6” roundtable.

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