WTO joins call for new healthcare investments to spur global recovery

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A $50 billion global investment in healthcare tools to fight the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to $9 trillion in new economic activity by 2025, it has been stated.


The World Trade Organization (WTO) has joined forces with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank Group and World Health Organization (WHO) to call for global investment 
to help end the COVID-19 pandemic and boost the global recovery.

In a letter published in newspapers around the world, the heads of the four bodies stated that if governments invest $50 billion in efforts to fight the pandemic, this could lead to around $9 trillion in returns by 2025.

It highlighted research by the IMF showing that such investment is vital in increasing manufacturing capacity, supply, trade flows, and delivery of healthcare supplies including diagnostics equipment, oxygen, treatments and vaccines.

"By now it has become abundantly clear there will be no broad-based recovery without an end to the health crisis. Access to vaccination is key to both," the leaders wrote.

The leaders of the four organizations - Kristalina Georgieva of the IMF, the WHO's Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Malpass from the World Bank and WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala - said this would be a "win for all". They noted 60 percent of the gains would go to emerging and developing economies, with developed countries benefiting from the remaining 40 percent.

They also called on world leaders to donate more vaccine doses to developing countries, in conjunction with both national vaccination programs and the international COVAX effort.

Cooperation on trade will also be needed to ensure free cross-border flows and increase supplies of raw materials and finished vaccines, and all blockages to expanding supply must be removed, including issues related to intellectual property.

"For the plan to work, there are two additional requirements: speed and coordination," the statement continued, adding: "The success of the strategy depends on all parties - public, private, international financial institutions, foundations - moving in tandem."