The Group of 20 major economies of the world has decided to pump in $5 trillion into the global economy though national measures in order to try and ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic while also pledging to do “whatever it takes” to overcome the coronavirus crisis.
This was communicated after the meeting of the leaders of the G-20 countries in a never before held video conference meeting on Thursday. Commitment to take all necessary health measures to protect lives through funding and implementing of policies was taken at the meeting while also vowing to strive to minimize economic and social damage and to prevent disruptions to international trade as far as possible.
Concerns about the risk of the pandemic for fragile countries, notably in Africa, were raised by the leaders at the meeting while also talking about the threat of the disease for vulnerable populations such as refugees. The leaders also acknowledged that need for further increase global financial safety nets and national health systems.
“We are strongly committed to presenting a united front against this common threat,” the G20 leaders said in a joint statement following their 90-minute call.
There have been criticisms since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic about the slow reaction of the G-20 group of countries even as more than 470,000 people worldwide have got infected with the virus and over 21,000 have been killed and very real fears of a global recession looms large. The summit was called by Saudi Arabia, the current G20 chair.
While insisting that markets should remain open, the G20 leaders confronted growing concerns about possible protectionist measures and said: “Emergency measures aimed at protecting health will be targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary.”
the normal flow of goods and services, including vital supplies, should be resumed by G-20, said Saudi King Salman, in opening remarks, stressing that this should be done as soon as possible so that confidence in the global economy is restored.
In addition to the $5 trillion of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures and guarantee schemes, the G-20 leaders also assured of more large-scale fiscal support for the global economy.
Amid the global pandemic and the shortage of medical equipment the world over, the World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was slated to speak at the G20 to request more support for funding and for production of personal protection equipment for health workers.
“We have a global responsibility as humanity and especially those countries like the G20,” Tedros told a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday. “They should be able to support countries all over the world.”
A commitment to bridging the financing gap in the WHO’s response plan was made by the G20 leaders while also assuring to strengthen the mandate of the WHO. The G20 countries also assured help for the WHO in terms of increasing of manufacturing capacity of medical supplies, sharing of clinical data and further strengthening of the capacities of the WHO to respond to infectious diseases.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)