G20 ensures Fair Distribution of Covid-19 Vaccine
The G20 will do whatever is needed to ensure a fair distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine
Last Saturday, the G20 group held its 15th summit on video conference due to the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unsurprisingly, the whole conference was mainly focused on the virus and its upcoming vaccine. The leaders of the 20 most powerful countries in the world promised to deploy whatever is necessary to make the coronavirus vaccine more affordable and its distribution fair between rich and poor countries. Since vaccine shipment has precisely never been historically fair for various reasons, it’s going to be challenging for the forum to break that loop with the long waited vaccine.
Alongside the pandemic, was the perspectives of an unequal and likely uncertain economic recovery from the chaos the world has been going through since march 2020. The press release of the summit indeed acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact in terms of lives lost, livelihoods and economies affected, is an unparalleled shock that has revealed vulnerabilities in our preparedness and response and underscored our common challenges. This disease has taken the world by surprise although visionaries such as Bill Gates didn’t lose time to warn all of us during one of the TED events back in 2015.
As a forum aimed at discussing policy that should promote international financial stability, the Sars-Cov 2 has certainly been a serious threat to the G20’s goals and it’s no surprise that the forum finds itself in the middle of the vaccine’s distribution. So, it’s a good point that it has promised to spare no effort in order to allow fairness in the process of recovery throughout the world as stated by the Chairperson and Saudi King Salman: “the group has adopted important policies that will achieve recovery all the way to an economy that is resilient, sustainable, inclusive, and balanced”. A vaccine should allow nations to resume activities and reignite the economical wagon.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the group along with the World Bank has created The Debt Service Suspension Initiative which has helped 46 countries defer $5.7 billion in 2020 debt service payments, short of the 73 countries that were eligible, and promised savings of around $12 billion. This service has now been extended to mid-2021 since this policy should be part of the master plan to fix the worldwide economy if there is such a plan. This debt suspension particularly benefits most countries of the third-world and more specifically the African continent. During the next summit, which is currently planned to occur on 30 and 31 October 2021, the continent’s economic status is expected to be mainly discussed. The countries that are not covered by this service but still suffering from the economical crises should be helped in addressing debt vulnerabilities so that their economies can become more resilient.