Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, has urged nations around the world to set aside $50 billion to vaccinate 40% of the world’s population, a development she believes is critical to economic recovery.
On Tuesday, Okonjo-Iweala participated in a panel discussion with the Atlantic Council. She stated that the vaccination supply chain scarcity could be resolved.
“Based on an International Monetary Fund study, I want to put a proposal for the global economy, $50 billion to vaccinate 40% of the world population this year and 60% next year,” said the WTO chief.
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 stated that the WTO was encouraging member countries to increase capacity investments and scale up vaccine production.
Okonjo-Iweala went on to say that the WTO was requesting that organizations reach an agreement on intellectual property issues.