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“A failure to take decisive action to end the pandemic” – ONE and Global Citizen react to the end of the Annual Meetings

Reacting to the end of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings, Dr David McNair, Executive Director of Global Policy at the ONE Campaign, said:

“This could have been a game-changing moment in the fight against COVID-19. It wasn’t. The pandemic is killing thousands of people every day and threatens economic recovery, yet many rich countries still choose to hoard vaccines and financial resources. 

“When the G20 agreed to issue $650billion of SDRs, they created a vital new reserve of funds that would help the most vulnerable countries to recover from the economic consequences of this crisis. With only a couple of G20 countries stepping up to offer a small portion of their SDR allocation, leaders’ failure to take decisive action to end the pandemic this week risks leaving millions of people exposed to the worst aftershocks.”

Looking forward to the G20 Leaders’ Summit at the end of October, Friederike Röder, Vice-President, Global Advocacy at Global Citizen, also said:

“When G20 leaders meet in Rome, they must commit to financing a smart response to end the economic divergence driven by the pandemic. This means having real plans to deliver at least $100 billion of SDRs this year and much more next year.”

Reacting to the UK’s announcement committing to recycling 20% of their Special Drawing Rights allocation at the G7 Finance Ministers Meeting, Romilly Greenhill, UK director at ONE, said:

“The UK’s announcement will only make a difference if this recycling is not counted towards the 0.5% aid target. Having spent trillions in their economic recovery, not only would it be morally indefensible for the UK to fold this into its foreign aid commitment in an attempt to reduce their efforts to support vulnerable countries, but it would also severely undermine the original intention of the allocation. Rishi Sunak recently stressed ‘the importance of supporting vulnerable countries’. He needs to back this with action, and taking SDRs from the existing aid budget sends the opposite message.”

 Notes to editors

  • The ONE Campaign has spent the last year campaigning for the $650bn SDR allocation. Now that it is in place ONE is calling advanced economies to recycle their Special Drawing Rights allocation to support vulnerable countries in need. Check out ONE’s latest policy brief titled “From allocation to action on SDRs”. 
  • Between now and 2025, Africa alone needs USD 285 billion in additional financing just to respond to the pandemic, and half a trillion to get back on track.