Says they need to invest in youth
Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that the coronavirus vaccine should be treated as a “global public good” and its production should be enhanced to save lives.
The Pakistan premier was addressing a meeting of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation. They must push back against the “vaccine nationalism” and undue export nationalism, he said.
The D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8, includes Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.
PM Khan urged global vaccine manufacturers to speed up their production and help the developing countries with their expertise and technologies.
The premier said that the virus has claimed over 2.9 million lives globally and left 250 million people unemployed.
It has taken a heavy toll on poor countries, he said, adding that the developing countries are faced with the dilemma of not only saving people from the deadly virus but also saving them from hunger.
The virus has so far claimed 15,124 lives in Pakistan, while the total number of confirmed cases stands at 705,517.
PM Khan has said that his government won’t impose a lockdown in the country because it doesn’t have resources to manage one.
In his speech, PM Khan said around 1/5th of the global youth was unemployed even before the virus surfaced. He called on the D-8 countries to invest in youth education, skills and training.
Pakistan has initiated several programs, including Kamyab Jawan and Hunarmand Pakistan Youth Entrepreneurship scheme, to help the youth, he said.
The D-8 countries need to mobilize robust financing and resources to recover from economic and health crisis caused by the pandemic, PM Khan said. They must take immediate steps to increase intra D-8 trade from $100 billion to $500 billion, he added.
The Pakistan premier said the D-8 forum should be made more relevant to its citizens by promoting food security, enhancing cooperation in health, holding joint sports events and helping each other during natural disasters.