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IMF Head Sees G-7 Giving Tens of Billions to Vaccine Finance

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 5 days ago Eric Martin
a hand holding a bottle: Inside A Covid-19 Vaccination Center In Melbourne © Bloomberg Inside A Covid-19 Vaccination Center In Melbourne

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International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said she expects the Group of Seven economies to provide “tens of billions” of dollars in financing for vaccinating the world.

“My suspicion is that we’ll see this in the tens of billions, not in the couple of billions,” Georgieva said at a GZERO Media online event on Wednesday, referring to the amount that the world’s seven largest advanced economies will allocate for vaccine financing.

Closing Day Of The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020 © Bloomberg Closing Day Of The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020

Read more: IMF Backs $50 Billion Plan to Help World Escape Covid Crisis

The IMF last month called for a $50 billion spending plan to help immunize people worldwide against Covid-19 and avoid a scenario where developing economies recover much more slowly than advanced nations. The World Health Organization, World Bank and World Trade Organization have endorsed the plan.

a hand holding a bottle: Inside A Covid-19 Vaccination Center In Melbourne © Bloomberg Inside A Covid-19 Vaccination Center In Melbourne

Georgieva said that IMF analysis shows advanced economies this year will have 1 billion excess vaccine doses that could be redirected to the rest of the world. The gap in access threatens to derail the global economic rebound, she said.

Read more: IMF Head Warns of ‘Ricochet Impact’ of Uneven Global Recovery

Georgieva’s comments come as G-7 leaders leaders are gathering in the U.K. for a summit this week.

The IMF has called for vaccinating at least 40% of the global population by the end of this year and 60% or more by the first half of 2022. While saving lives, a faster rebound would also deliver a potential $9 trillion economic boost by 2025, the fund estimates.

Read more: Special Drawing Rights, the IMF’s Imperfect Tool: QuickTake

Georgieva said that she expects the fund’s board of governors to vote on the issuance of $650 billion in new reserve assets by mid-August, boosting resources for nations dealing with the global pandemic. She dismissed concerns raised by some Republican lawmakers in the U.S. that the assets known as special drawing rights, or SDRs, will be used by poor countries to pay debts to China.

“China actually would like to make sure the SDRs work as intended,” Georgieva said. “They are indicating interest to contribute some of their new SDR issuance to a pool of funds at the disposal of the management of the IMF, to be directed to support countries in need.”

(Updates with comments on special drawing rights in seventh paragraph.)

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