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Montevideo, July 7th 2022 - 16:39 UTC

 

 

G20 pledges US $ 60 bn to help poorest countries recover from COVID-19

Friday, February 18th 2022 - 20:00 UTC
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“This is not the time for rivalries,” Widodo said “This is not the time for rivalries,” Widodo said

Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) of the G20 countries Friday agreed on the need to allocate US $ 60 billion to COVID-19 recovery efforts in the world's poorest countries, it was announced.

The members of the G20 are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain is also invited as a permanent guest. The group is currently presided over by Indonesia. Hence, the FMCBG held in Jakarta, albeit in a hybrid format of in-person and online participation due to sanitary precautions.

In a joint statement after two days of meeting, the ministers and governors declared that they will try to increase their commitment to US $ 100 billion to speed up the pandemic's end.

“We will continue to support vulnerable countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that we all recover together,” they stated in the consensus document.

However, the participating officials acknowledged recovery was uneven due to unbalanced access to COVID-19 vaccines in addition to other threats such as inflation and an ensuing disruption in the supply chain.

The communiqué failed to mention the Ukrine crisis, bujt it did mention the need to improve the efficiency and transparency of the international financial system, as well as the threat of climate change.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani told a conference that they were negotiating “multilateral agreements” to support, above all, developing countries to fight against embezzlement and tax evasion with measures to be applied from 2023.

“Many countries need technical assistance, starting with their legislation,” said the minister one day after Indonesian President Joko Widodo praised joint work between “regions” as a tool to ensure global economic growth.

Widodo also warned that “this is not the time for rivalries or to create new tensions that alter the recovery and global security, like what is happening in Ukraine.” The Indonesian President also urged all G20 members to focus on synergy and collaboration to seek concrete and measurable outcomes in order to help all countries, particularly the developing ones.

In his virtual appearance, President Widodo also highlighted the importance of keeping the rising global inflation under control as well as food security in helping recover the global economy.

”We must also overcome container scarcity and other logistics chain problems, prevent starvation, and accelerate the transition process towards the new economy. We must expedite equal and affordable digital transformations,” he added.

Widodo said he expects that the G20 FMCBG meeting could devise fiscal and monetary measures acceptable to all members.

Indonesia is the country most affected by the COVID-19 crisis in Southeast Asia, particularly due to the Omicron variant. This situation lked local authorities to shift the ministerial summit from Bali to Jakarta, where the vaccination rate is higher.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of guest nations and organizations, such as the World Bank or the World Health Organization, including Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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