Says COVID-19 vaccine must be made affordable
The world needs global policy measures to save lives, revive economies, build back better, said Prime Minister Imran Khan while speaking at the 4th Session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Financing for Development.
The session has been organised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
The world today is grappling with a series of unprecedented public health and economic crises, he remarked. “While the coronavirus does not discriminate between the rich and the poor, the most vulnerable people and countries have suffered the most. Millions are likely to fall back into poverty.”
In Pakistan, our efforts have been aimed at ensuring that we save people from dying from the virus, and at the same time preventing them from dying from hunger, he added. “Our strategy, fortunately, has worked well so far. But continuous efforts are needed to fully overcome the second wave of the virus. And also at the same time to maintain and stimulate economic growth.”
He said that COVID-19 vaccines are now being administered in developed countries. “But it seems that it will take a much longer time for the vaccine to fully cover the Global South.” Sustainable development will remain elusive as long as the pandemic persists.
Developing countries are trapped between recovering from the pandemic and meeting their debt servicing obligations.
The premier said that he called for a ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief’ in April 2020 for “creating fiscal space and reviving economic growth for developing countries.”
He even proposed a five-point agenda to achieve the set targets:
“Economic malaise and recession, like the coronavirus, is highly communicable,” he added.