G20 pledges over $21 billion to fight COVID-19 - GulfToday

G20 pledges over $21 billion to fight COVID-19


This photo is used for illustrative purpose.

G20 members and invited countries have pledged more than $21 billion to fight COVID-19 and, with a spirit of solidarity, have shown they will spare no effort to protect lives and the most vulnerable.

During the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit convened by the Saudi G20 Presidency on 26th March, 2020, the G20 Leaders made a decisive commitment to fight the pandemic and called for a provision of immediate resources.

The G20 has been leading the global response and international collaboration in the fight against the pandemic.

This extraordinary determination and tireless work has mobilised resources to bridge the immediate health financing gap, which was estimated to be a minimum of $8 billion by the Global Pandemic Monitoring Board.

The G20, with invited countries, has coordinated the global efforts to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, G20 members and invited countries have pledged over $21 billion to support funding in global health.

These pledges will be directed towards diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, and research and development for the benefit of all. Contributions support national, regional, and global emergency and preparedness response.

G20 members and invited countries have also significantly invested in humanitarian efforts and strengthening health systems in low-income countries.

The Group of 20 major economies recently said 36 of 77 eligible countries had applied for suspension of official bilateral debt payments to help them combat the novel coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout.

In a statement, the Saudi G20 secretariat said the debt relief initiative approved in April could provide immediate liquidity of $14 billion as more countries participated.

It said the amount could increase significantly if additional creditors, including multilateral development banks and private-sector creditors, joined the initiative.

The G20-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Taskforce on Long-term Investment also held a virtual meeting recently to discuss the G20-OECD collaboration with institutional investors and asset managers to promote infrastructure investment and address the infrastructure financing gap which has grown even wider in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The G20-OECD Taskforce and its programme of work helps to advance the work of the G20 Infrastructure Working Group as well as other related G20 groups addressing infrastructure financing and long-term financing issues. The Taskforce is made up of members from the G20 Infrastructure Working Group, non-G20 members from OECD countries, the Financial Stability Board, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC, governmental members, and private sector participants. The Saudi G20 Presidency, along with the OECD, are actively engaging with investors to discuss the perspectives of asset owners and managers, identifying key issues and challenges, and providing a set of recommendations for improving the environment for private investment in infrastructure. The discussion is designed to support in alleviating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and address the continuing infrastructure financing gap and funding gap.

On this matter, the lead of Saudi G20 Infrastructure Working Group, Rakan Bin Dohaish said, “It is more important now, than ever before, to explore all methods to mobilize private investment in infrastructure to bridge the financing gap. Giving the impacts of COVID-19 and its economic devastation, this gap is likely to magnify as investment continues to dwindle, unless both public and private sectors collaborate and step forward.’’ ‘’ The Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Meeting and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meetings have been successful in bringing nations together at a time of great uncertainty.

The significant announcement of the debt relief agreement for developing nations is a witness of the commitment that the Saudi G20 Presidency has towards combating the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He added, “The Saudi G20 Presidency genuinely believes that the G20-OECD report on collaboration with institutional investors and asset managers is going to support the future work on mobilizing the private sector investment in infrastructure that will result in a sustainable, resilient, and productive global economy.”  

Separately, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday it has reached an agreement with authorities in Egypt to allocate $5.2 billion to help the country cope with the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.


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