Prime Minister Imran Khan has suggested a five-point framework to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and recover economies during his virtual address to the United Nations UN conference.
PM Imran Khan made the suggestions while addressing virtually the 4th Session of the United Nations UN Conference on Trade and Development Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Financing for Development on Monday.
He urged expansion of the coverage of the COVAX facility in order to enable the developing countries to spend their precious resources on socio-economic development needs.
Coronavirus is worst global crisis since World War II
Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has said that the coronavirus pandemic has claimed the highest number of lives after World War-II and termed it as the most serious global crisis.
Better recovery and access to vaccine
He was virtually addressing the UN General Assembly’s two-day special session on the response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic and forge a united path forward to better recovery, including access to a vaccine.
PM Imran Khan said the only way we can have the fiscal space to maintain and revive growth is through access to additional liquidity.
He called for building an inclusive and equitable debt management mechanism, constructing a democratic and SDG-focused trading system, and installing a fair international tax regime, underlining the need for reforming the international financial architecture.
65 Millions of peoples infected
Alluding to the effects of the pandemic, the Prime Minister said the Covid-19 pandemic has infected nearly 65 million people and killed sadly close to 1.5 million.
He expressed hope that whenever the vaccine is available, it must be offered to everyone.
He said we provided a relief package of around 8 billion dollars to support the poor and to keep the economy afloat during the pandemic.
He proposed a ten-point agenda for urgent action, which called for;
Debt suspension till the end of the pandemic for low income and most stressed countries.
Restructuring of the public sector debt of other developing countries under an agreed inclusive multilateral framework.
A general allocation of special drawing rights of $500 billion.
Creation of a new ‘liquidity and sustainability facility’, which should provide short term loans at lower costs.
Fulfillment of the 0.7 % official development assistance commitments.
Mobilizing the required $1.5 trillion annual investment in sustainable infrastructure.
Cancellation of debt of least developed countries.
Achievement of the agreed target of mobilizing $100 billion per year for climate action in developing countries.
Expanded concessional financing to lower income countries through multilateral development banks.
Immediate action to stop the massive illicit financial outflows from developing countries to rich countries, to offshore tax havens and at the same time, immediate return of their assets stolen by corrupt politicians and criminals back to these countries.
Prime Minister Imran Khan pointed that nearly 100 million people in developing countries would fall back into extreme poverty while on the other hand, the rich countries had injected $13 trillion as fiscal stimulus to revive their economies.
Do not have enough resources
He said Developing countries just do not have the resources to afford such a massive economic stimulus. They are struggling to find even a fraction of the $ 2-3 trillion they require to recover from the pandemic.
The premier in his address mentioned Pakistan’s successful policy of “smart lockdowns” and said these efforts were aimed at ensuring that not they save people from the virus, but also prevent them from dying from hunger.
He said we provided a relief package of around US $ 8 billion – which was almost 3% of our DGP to support the poor and to keep the economy afloat at the same time,”.
He suggested restructuring of the public-sector debt under an agreed and inclusive multilateral framework besides expanding concessional financing through multilateral development banks.
PM Khan called for the general allocation of Special Drawing Rights of $500 billion to help alleviate balance-of-payment pressures. He also urged devising a viable framework for equitable and affordable supply of Covid-19 vaccine to developing countries.
Fight to pandemic
PM Imran Khan, while highlighting the measures to fight the pandemic in Pakistan, said that the ongoing efforts have been aimed at ensuring to save people from dying from the virus, and at the same time preventing them from dying from hunger.
He said the strategy has worked well so far, however; continuous efforts are needed to fully overcome the second wave of the virus.
Recent recorded cases in Pakistan
Pakistan has recorded 3,262 new cases and 55 deaths due to the COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, ARY News reported on Friday.
No. of deaths and patients in last 24 hours
In the past 24 hours, 55 more people succumbed to the disease, taking the death toll to 8,260. 3,354 patients have recovered from the virus during the last 24 hours and 2,395 patients are in critical condition.
The total count of active cases is 51,507 and the positivity rate of COVID-19 cases reaches up to 7.3 per cent.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), with fresh inclusion of the infections in the country the national tally of cases now currently stands at 410,072.
A total of 44,627 tests were conducted across the country during this period. 350,305 people have recovered from the deadly disease while 5,672,166 samples have been tested thus far.
PM directs to accelerate measures
The cabinet committee, formed on the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, briefed the prime minister about the recently approved Covid vaccines in the country.
The committee briefed the meeting that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) had approved two Covid-19 vaccines China’s Sinopharm and Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan.
The committee told PM Khan that steps are being taken to procure doses of two approved Covid vaccines as soon as possible.
Vaccines will be coming soon in the country
Coronavirus vaccines will be available in the country by the first quarter of the ongoing year, PM told.
Speaking on the occasion, PM Imran directed the committee to accelerate measures for the early provision of two coronavirus vaccines recently approved by DRAP.
The meeting was attended by NCOC head Asad Umar, SAPM on Health, Dr Faisal Sultan, Federal Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar and SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar.
The Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAP) authorized China’s Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan, making it the second vaccine to get local approval.
The permission was given in the DRAP registration board meeting after China’s Sinopharm had sought permission from Pakistan for the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
Sinopharm, a state-run Chinese firm, is developing two coronavirus vaccines. Pakistan will purchase 1.2 million doses of the corona vaccine from China.
Pakistan, which is seeing rising numbers of coronavirus infections, granted permission last week to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine (AZD1222) in an emergency situation.