Vaccination, key to economic recovery, says Okonjo-iweala
The Director-general of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjoiweala, has urged nations across the globe set aside $50bn to vaccinate 40 per cent of the world population, a development she said was key to economic recovery.
Okonjo-iweala spoke at a panel interview with the Atlantic Council on Tuesday. She said the supply chain scarcity of vaccination could be solved.
The WTO boss said, “Based on a study by the International Monetary Fund, I want to put a proposal for the global economy, $50bn to vaccinate 40 per cent of the world population and 60 per cent next year.
“If this is done, the IMF estimates that we would enter into a sustainable recovery path and solve the equity problem.
“This could create another $9tn in GDP by the world by 2025. I am putting that so that people can imagine the economic benefit of making vaccines available to the world.
“We usually manufacture five billion doses of vaccines worldwide; now we need to manufacture 15 billion doses if we have to do booster shots.
“The World Trade Organisation would monitor export restrictions and prohibitions. With the complicated supply chain by the vaccines companies, any restriction that stops inputs and outputs is a roadblock to the production of vaccines.”
She said the WTO was encouraging member states to increase investments in capacity and scale up the production of vaccines.
Okonjo-iweala added that the WTO was asking organisations to reach an agreement with on Intellectual Property issues.