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IMF warns of $5.3tn loss of global economy due to vaccine divide

IMF warns of $5.3tn loss of global economy due to vaccine divide

Washington: The International Monetary Fund warned that the global economy which remains "hobbled" in the pandemic-induced conundrum will suffer a cumulative loss of $5.3 trillion over the next five years due to absence of actions to mitigate the gap in the dispensation of COVID vaccine between poor and wealthy countries.

Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF's managing director, said that the current global pandemic situation would prompt IMF to scale down the global economic growth forecasts to be published in the week's World Economic Outlook against the 6% growth prediction it had made in July for this year.

Georgieva termed the vaccine divide between rich and poor countries as the main impediment to global economic recovery. Citing the grim situation of vaccine shortage in poor countries, she urged wealthy countries to share immediately their vaccine stockpiles with developing countries.

She equalled the current global economy running which is hit by the pandemic to walking with stones in shoes, causing difficulty in the forward motion.

"The most immediate obstacle is the 'great vaccination divide' – too many countries with too little access to vaccines, leaving too many people unprotected from Covid," Georgieva was quoted by The Guardian as saying.

Though the expected forecasts for global economic growth in the next week are likely to be a strong bounceback from the global output fall seen in 2020, Georgieva feels that the impediments and the risks to a balanced global recovery have become more visible and more painful.

Low-income nations were being hit by a combination of limited access to vaccines and a lack of the policy firepower deployed by rich nations to cope with the economic impact of the virus.

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