With nations worldwide working to keep their citizens safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) calls on international bodies – the G20, IMF and World Bank – to follow the Global Fund’s lead and give generously by opening their pocketbooks and implementing emergency actions to give countries hit hardest by the outbreak the best chance at stopping the virus and fully recovering.
AHF is launching a digital advocacy campaign—set to kick off on April 15 during the World Bank’s virtual Spring Meetings—when world leaders and ministers of finance will gather to plan how to best move forward and protect the global economy during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
AHF urges: the Group of 20 (G20) to generously contribute $1 trillion to the COVID-19 response fund; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to waive loan interest to countries and forgive urgent COVID-19 loans; and the World Bank to be generous by guaranteeing that the full $160 billion in aid it has pledged for COVID-19 is quickly distributed.
“This pandemic has affected us all—but it’s undeniable that the poorest countries around the globe will be impacted far worse without an immediate and robust effort to get increased aid to them now, before more damage is done,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “We’re calling on the G20, IMF and World Bank to step up with a generous and urgent response. Now is the time for unified actions and solidarity at all levels—that requires people and organizations doing all they can to help those greatest in need.”
What wealthy nations worry about most regarding COVID-19 is often the starting line for many developing countries. From shortages of test kits and inadequate stockpiles of personal protective equipment, to an overwhelmed healthcare system and an inability to socially distance – poorer nations are often fighting a losing battle from the onset of outbreaks.
“It’s absolutely critical that aid reach the nations that need it most right now—it cannot wait until the virus and devastation have had time to make their way throughout entire countries,” added Weinstein. “The organizations we’re calling on, the G20, IMF and World Bank, have the means and the power to save millions of lives. Don’t wait—give generously and stop COVID-19 now!”
Income losses are estimated to exceed $220 billion in developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme. And with an estimated 55% of the global population living without social protections to help reduce poverty and vulnerability, those losses will greatly impact human rights, healthcare, education and food security without increased support from external sources.