06 April 2021
As prepared for delivery;
Colleagues, we are meeting today, nearly a year since the onset of COVID-19. We welcome the early signs of a global recovery. We are concerned, however, at the looming prospect of a protracted recovery among many developing countries and the reversal of the income convergence among countries of the past few decades between rich and poor countries.
Progress in the availability and access to vaccine will determine how fast we can secure a firm recovery. At this juncture, global cooperation and transfer of know-how in production, procurement and equitable distribution of vaccines at affordable prices is absolutely critical. There is no room for restrictions on the exports of vaccine and related medical supplies, if nothing else, on moral grounds. We are in a global health crisis and no country is immune. Within our countries, the most vulnerable and those in the informal sector have been hit the hardest. Many low-income countries have lost, within a few short months, hard-won economic gains of the past few decades.
Developing countries have to get on track to economic recovery. Global cooperation and experience sharing are essential for effective crisis responses and to deploy all policy tools necessary in a flexible manner to foster an environment conducive to trade, transfer of technology and investment.
The IMF and the World Bank play key roles in supporting their member countries in moderating the health and economic impact of the pandemic and in subsequent various phases of recovery. The institutional integrity of the two institution hinges on the principle of evenhanded treatment of all members, immune from political pressure.
We seek flexibility in tailoring responses to country conditions to pave the way for a sustained recovery and a quick return to pre-pandemic levels. The IMF also needs to be adequately resourced to meet the large financing needs of its members as they emerge from the crisis. We strongly welcome the IMF’s proposed new allocation of SDRs and encourage effective approaches for countries to recycle their unused SDRs for the benefit of other countries. We look forward to a successful IDA20 replenishment by end 2021 and enhanced resources for the PRGT. Increased concessional financing should be an important part of the global response to enhance financing for development in low-income countries.
Quotas are IMF’s major resource. After the failure of the 15th General Review of Quotas, we now look forward to the successful completion of the 16th Review. We also ask the Bank and the Fund to closely review the adequacy of their medium-term lending capacity to support low- and middle-income countries.