How well will the world respond next time—especially if that virus has a 5 percent fatality rate rather than the ~1 percent of COVID-19?
CGD Policy Blogs
I am very pleased to welcome Javier Guzman as the new Director of CGD’s Global Health Policy Program and a Senior Policy Fellow.
Expanding Vaccine Access and Humanitarian Financing Should Be Urgent Objectives for the World Bank and IMF
Shortly before the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, we set out how they could be a turning point in addressing the consequences of the pandemic.
Most observers gave the IMF high marks for its initial response to the COVID-19 crisis. It responded quickly with emergency financing to 86 countries, including a fivefold increase in its concessional lending to low-income countries. And its leadership was quick to recognize that the unprecedented nature of the crisis warranted a different approach to macroeconomic and financial policy.
While those lucky enough to live in the United States or Europe fret about the extra weeks before their vaccine jab is scheduled, 6 billion people in developing countries will need to wait months, if not years. COVID-19 vaccine production lags far behind demand, and one reason why developing countries find themselves at the back of the queue is that they were unable collectively to make the firm financial offers for advance purchases when these vaccines were still in the making.
The CGD family is mourning the recent loss of our friend and colleague, Benno Ndulu. Benno was a towering intellect and a forceful policymaker. He was also a friend to CGD.
As development agencies transition from their immediate COVID-19 response towards a medium-term strategy, their leaders see a clear need to rethink some key aspects of their underlying business models. The Development Leaders Conference brought together heads of bilateral development agencies and senior management from selected multilateral institutions.
Masood Ahmed cuts through the discussion about how much financial support the World Bank is providing to LMICs, and urges that the MDBs, and their sharedholders, should be more ambitious in their support of LMICs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The only way to scale up the global financial response to meet the imminent needs of developing countries is by using all parts of the development finance system—and by making it work much more effectively as a system. This means the global multilateral institutions, of course, but it also includes regional, national, and sub-national development finance institutions.
A few targeted actions now, backed up with commensurate resources, can help ensure the developing world gets back on a path to shared prosperity sooner rather than later.