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Faster development of COVID-19 vaccine could raise global incomes by $9 trillion, IMF says

Posted/updated on: October 16, 2020 at 12:58 pm
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simon2579/iStockBy CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) -- The head of the International Monetary Fund implored the international community to cooperate in developing and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine, saying that speeding up a global economic recovery could add some $9 trillion to global incomes over the next five years.

"The value of cooperation right now cannot be overstated," IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said at a news conference Friday. "Faster progress on medical solutions could speed up the recovery -- it could add almost $9 trillion to global income by 2025. This, in turn, could help narrow the income gap between richer and poorer nations."

Georgieva noted that "this has been a crisis like no other that calls for steps to enable a recovery like no other."

Her comments come on the heels of the IMF's gloomy October global economic outlook, published earlier this week, that project a deep recession as global gross domestic product is expected to contract by 4.4% in 2020.

While the bulk of the outlook contained dismal economic indicators and projections, including that 90 million people are expected fall into extreme poverty just this year, the economists noted that some of the worst could be avoided if countries work together to combat the virus.

Gita Gopinath, the IMF's chief economist, said at a news conference that "greater international collaboration is needed to end this health crisis."

"Tremendous progress is being made in developing tests, treatments and vaccines, but only if countries work closely together will there be enough production and widespread distribution to every part of the world to end this pandemic," Gopinath added. "Now, we estimate that if medical solutions can be made available faster and more widely relative to our current baseline, it could lead to cumulative increase in global income of almost 9 trillion dollars by end-2025, benefitting all economies and reducing divergence."

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