The International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes that faster vaccinations are critical to pandemic recovery.
Accelerating vaccines around the world will be critical not just in preventing the coronavirus epidemic, but also in overcoming the global economic recovery’s speed bumps, according to IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva.
Finance experts attending the Washington-based crisis lender’s annual meeting expressed concern about supply chain bottlenecks that are driving up prices.
These interruptions are the result of the pandemic’s unique circumstances, as well as the quick rebound in demand as economies reopen, as well as challenges to hire workers as the Delta strain of the coronavirus resurfaces.
The “more underlying problem,” according to Georgieva, is the widening gap between “those that are forging ahead more strongly and those that are falling behind,” owing to lower-income countries’ substantially lower immunization rates.
She told reporters, “There was a very clear message coming out of this summit that vaccination the world is vital.”
While advanced countries are beginning to offer booster doses, over 96 percent of the population in low-income countries is unvaccinated.
Members of the International Monetary Fund’s steering committee “asked for strong international collaboration and quick action to achieve universal immunization,” according to Sweden’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, who headed the group.
While Georgieva reiterated the Fund’s view that inflationary pressures are primarily temporary, the committee underscored that central banks will be closely monitoring prices and will act if “concrete” threats emerge.
The committee acknowledged the risks to recovery in its final statement, emphasizing the need for “urgent action” on vaccinations and to address the crises that is worsening poverty.
The vow to “provide financial aid to countries in need” was also renewed by the membership.
This involves redistributing monies from the IMF’s freshly minted reserves, which total $650 billion in special drawing rights, to the poorest countries. Georgieva believes her target of $100 billion is “quite attainable.”