‘Public int’l finance must be allocated to countries, sectors most in need’

United Nations, Nov 22 : Public international finance must be allocated to countries and sectors most in need amid the Covid-19 andemic, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in his video message to the International Finance Forum 2020 Annual Meeting.

“As a formidable countercyclical force, public international finance must focus on two key priorities. First, it must be allocated to countries and sectors most in need, including health, education and social protection, in the short term, and all facets of sustainable development in the long term,” Xinhua news agency quoted the UN chief as saying on Saturday.

“Secondly, it must be used to leverage private and domestic financing by enhancing tax systems and through specific tools such as incentives and guarantees,” Guterres added.

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For the time being, the Secretary-General said that a Covid-19 vaccine is a global public good, which needs strong international financial support.

“We must ensure it is available and affordable for everyone,” he said, noting that the ACT-Accelerator is a global solution that will help meet this goal.

The UN chief called on the international community to help meet the need of 35 billion U.S. dollars for the ACT-Accelerator “to scale up for impact”.

The Covid-19 pandemic “has exposed the fragility not just of our health systems, but also of our global institutions and multilateral efforts”, said the top UN official.

“We must address the immediate crisis and build back better,” Guterres added.

The UN chief’s statement comes as the overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 58 million mark, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.37 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Sunday, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 58,035,296 and 1,379,508, respectively.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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