he International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged all countries to ensure that their health care systems are adequately resourced to enable fight the coronavirus(Covid-19) pandemic.
In a new report released at the weekend, the IMF said that the international community must significantly step up its support for national initiatives, including through financial assistance to countries with limited health care capacity and channeling of funding for vaccine production as trials advance, so that adequate, affordable doses are quickly available to all countries.
It further stated: “Where lockdowns are required, economic policy should continue to cushion household income losses with sizable, well-targeted measures as well as provide support to firms suffering the consequences of mandated restrictions on activity.
“Where economies are reopening, targeted support should be gradually unwound as the recovery gets underway, and policies should provide stimulus to lift demand and ease and incentivize the reallocation of resources away from sectors likely to emerge persistently smaller after the pandemic.”
Stressing that strong multilateral cooperation remains essential on multiple fronts, the IMF said that liquidity assistance was urgently needed for countries confronting health crises and external funding shortfalls, including through debt relief and financing through the global financial safety net.
“Beyond the pandemic, policymakers must cooperate to resolve trade and technology tensions that endanger an eventual recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, building on the record drop in greenhouse gas emissions during the pandemic, policymakers should both implement their climate change mitigation commitments and work together to scale up equitably designed carbon taxation or equivalent schemes.
“The global community must act now to avoid a repeat of this catastrophe by building global stockpiles of essential supplies and protective equipment, funding research and supporting public health systems, and putting in place effective modalities for delivering relief to the neediest,” the fund added.