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Ruchir Agarwal and Ms. Gita Gopinath
Urgent steps are needed to arrest the rising human toll and economic strain from the COVID-19 pandemic that are exacerbating already-diverging recoveries. Pandemic policy is also economic policy as there is no durable end to the economic crisis without an end to the health crisis. Building on existing initiatives, this paper proposes pragmatic actions at the national and multilateral level to expeditiously defeat the pandemic. The proposal targets: (1) vaccinating at least 40 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022, (2) tracking and insuring against downside risks, and (3) ensuring widespread testing and tracing, maintaining adequate stocks of therapeutics, and enforcing public health measures in places where vaccine coverage is low. The benefits of such measures at about $9 trillion far outweigh the costs which are estimated to be around $50 billion—of which $35 billion should be paid by grants from donors and the residual by national governments potentially with the support of concessional financing from bilateral and multilateral agencies. The grant funding gap identified by the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator amounts to about $22 billion, which the G20 recognizes as important to address. This leaves an estimated $13 billion in additional grant contributions needed to finance our proposal. Importantly, the strategy requires global cooperation to secure upfront financing, upfront vaccine donations, and at-risk investment to insure against downside risks for the world.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) was established by the IMF’s Executive Board in 2001. It provides objective and independent evaluation of issues related to the IMF. The IEO operates independently of IMF management and at arm’s length from the IMF Executive Board. For more information on the IEO’s activities, visit the IEO website: www.ieo-imf.org.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This independent evaluation of the IMF’s role and performance in the determination and use of aid to low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa is presented at a ground-level view. Country performance has improved in many sub-Saharan Africa countries over the period, and the report details the role of the IMF’s programs, as well as perceptions of that role. The report is an important contribution to following through on the IMF’s commitment to its Poverty Reduction Strategy and makes three main recommendations for improving the coherence—actual and perceived—of the IMF’s policies and actions relating to aid to sub-Saharan Africa going forward.