Africa needs £ 9bn to buy enough vaccines to stop the spread of Covid-19, World Bank and IMF say

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Africa needs around £ 9bn ($ 12bn) to buy and distribute Covid-19 vaccines in order to reach enough people to stop the spread of the coronavirus, new World Bank document says and the International Monetary Fund.

Rich countries around the G20 world are also expected to extend a debt moratorium until the end of the year to help poorer countries weather the pandemic, the newspaper said.

The money Africa needs is about the same as debt repayments already deferred by 45 of the poorest countries, the bodies said.

Meanwhile, a new report from the Rockefeller Foundation has found that measures to boost the IMF’s emergency reserves could provide poor countries with billions to be vaccinated at no additional cost to rich countries.

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G20 finance officials are expected to back a new £ 470 billion ($ 650 billion) allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) this week to help countries cope with the pandemic and its economic fallout .

Rights are an asset issued by the IMF to boost reserves and increase the purchasing power of vulnerable countries. All countries, rich or poor, will receive their own share of new entitlements, in the first such allocation since the financial crisis of the late 2000s. Yet the report says rich countries could reallocate their slice to fill quickly. the vaccine financing gap.

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Such a program could provide the $ 44 billion needed to immunize 70% of the population of low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2022.

Rich and middle-income countries accounted for 86% of Covid-19 injections administered last month and there is a growing gap in immunization and economic recovery between rich and poor countries.

While the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom currently focus on vaccinating their own populations, public health experts warn that the risk of new variants appearing anywhere the coronavirus is endemic means that no country is not safe until the whole world is vaccinated.

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On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was aware there was “growing desperation” for vaccines coming from large parts of the world. He said the United States will work with global partners on vaccine manufacturing to ensure there will be enough “for everyone, everywhere.”

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