September 24, 2021

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COVID-19 variants can wipe out over $4.5trn GDP, says IMF

From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised the alarm over the effects of COVID-19 variants, saying that they can  derail economic  recovery and wipe out over $4.5 trillion from global Gross Domestic Products (GDP) by 2025.

This is contained in a transcript of the World Economic Outlook update  released recently by IMF.

According to the report,   financial conditions could also tighten abruptly if there is a sudden reassessment of the monetary policy outlook, especially in the United States. 

However, it added that a  worsening pandemic and tightening financial conditions would inflict a double blow to emerging markets and developing economies and severely set back their recoveries.

“Now, moving onto what needs to be done. To start with, multilateral action is needed to ensure rapid worldwide access to vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Now, this would save countless lives, prevent new variants from emerging, and add trillions of dollars to global economic recovery. 

“The IMF staff’s proposal to end the pandemic, which was jointly endorsed by the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organisation, sets a goal of vaccinating at least 40 per cent of the population, in every country, by the end of this year, and at least 60 per cent by the middle of next year, alongside ensuring adequate diagnostics and therapeutics, at the price of $50 billion…”

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Source: news