Introductory Remarks by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva at the Joint WHO-IMF-WTO-WBG Press Conference

June 1, 2021

As prepared for delivery

Thank you to Dr. Tedros for hosting this press conference - delighted to join David and Ngozi as well.


We are here together because there is urgency to step up multifaceted and coordinated action to fight the pandemic in the parts of the world falling behind, mostly because of uneven distribution of vaccines between richer and poorer countries.  You may ask why is the IMF concerned with vaccinations?  We are deeply concerned because an increasingly two-track pandemic is causing a two-track economic recovery—with negative consequences for all countries.


And our data shows that in the near term vaccinating the world is the most effective way to boost global output. In other words, vaccine policy is economic policy.   


Building on the work of the WHO, WTO, World Bank and many others, IMF staff have put forward a proposal—a $50 billion plan—to end the pandemic. It has three broad elements.


First, vaccinating at least 40 percent of the population in all countries by end-2021, and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022. This requires additional upfront grants to COVAX, donating surplus doses, and free cross-border flows of raw materials and finished vaccines.


Second, insuring against downside risks such as new variants. This means investing in additional vaccine production capacity by 1 billion doses, diversifying production, and scaling-up surveillance and contingency plans to handle virus mutations or supply shocks.


Third, managing the interim period where vaccine supply is limited with widespread testing and tracing, therapeutic and public health measures. And at the same time, ramping up preparations for vaccine deployment.


Of the $50 billion, we envisage grant financing of at least $35 billion. G20 governments have recognized the importance of providing about $22 billion in additional funding for 2021 to the ACT-Accelerator—so we need an additional $13 billion in grants.


The remainder of the financing plan – around $15 billion – could come from national governments, supported by concessional financing from multilateral development banks.


The $50 billion price tag is dwarfed by the estimated $9 trillion to be gained by the increase in economic activity by 2025—making it the best public investment ever.


Its success depends on: 


Speed—upfront financing, upfront vaccine donations, and upfront ‘at risk’ precautionary investments; and 


Coordination—all parties working in tandem: public, private, IFIs, and foundations. 

Our four institutions fully subscribe to it.


The IMF will not shy away from its own responsibility. We will continue to work with the international community towards faster vaccination and faster recovery so that we can ensure maximum efficiency and maximum impact from our collective efforts. We are considering how to complement grants and highly concessional financing from others for Covid vaccination, where needed. And we are preparing a new Special Drawing Rights allocation, unprecedented in its size, to boost the reserves and liquidity of all our member countries.


The bottom line is that ending the pandemic is a solvable problem – but it requires coordinated global action, now.


Thank you.


IMF Communications Department

PRESS OFFICER: Raphael Anspach

Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: