165 VIPs urge 20 economic powers for billions for COVID-19

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Many former global leaders and other VIPs urged the world’s 20 major industrialized nations to approve $8 billion in emergency funding to speed the search for a vaccine, cure and treatment for COVID-19 and prevent a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

In an open letter to governments of the Group of 20 nations, the leaders, ministers, top executives and scientists also called for $35 billion to support countries with weaker health systems and especially vulnerable populations, and at least $150 billion for developing countries to fight the medical and economic crisis.

And they urged the international community to waive this year’s debt repayments from poorer countries, including $44 billion due from Africa.

The letter released Monday night urged coordinated action — “within the next few days — to address our deepening global health and economic crises from COVID-19.”

The communique from the G20 leaders’ summit on March 26 recognized the gravity and urgency of the crisis, the signatories said, but “we now require urgent specific measures that can be agreed on with speed and at scale.”

The letter noted the problems were inter-connected. “The economic emergency will not be resolved until the health emergency is effectively addressed: the health emergency will not end simply by conquering the disease in one country alone, but by ensuring recovery from COVID-19 in all countries.”

The 165 signatories included former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 92 former presidents and prime ministers, the current prime ministers of Ethiopia and Bangladesh, Sierra Leone’s president, philanthropist George Soros, former Irish president Mary Robinson, who chairs The Elders, and Graca Machel, the group’s deputy chair.

Others include former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and John Major, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, International Economic Association President Kaushik Basu, who was a World Bank chief economist, and Georgetown University Associate Professor Deus Bazira, co-director of the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact.

Read more via AP

Once you're here...

%d bloggers like this: