Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

G20 leaders vow to tackle global coronavirus crisis

Overcoming health, social, economic impacts of COVID-19 absolute priority, says summit report

Jeyhun Aliyev,Davut Demircan   | 27.03.2020
G20 leaders vow to tackle global coronavirus crisis


Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies on Thursday reiterated their commitment to do "whatever it takes" to tackle the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

"Combatting this pandemic calls for a transparent, robust, coordinated, large-scale and science-based global response in the spirit of solidarity. We are strongly committed to presenting a united front against this common threat," they said in a statement issued following an extraordinary G20 leaders’ summit on the coronavirus which world leaders joined via a teleconference.

Noting that the pandemic is a "powerful reminder of the interconnectedness and vulnerabilities" of G20 countries, they said the absolute priority of world leaders is to overcome the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19.

They noted that G20 countries were undertaking "immediate and vigorous measures" to support economies and protect workers, businesses and sectors most affected by the virus.

"We are injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic."

They also pledged to work "swiftly and decisively" with multilateral bodies such as the World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group to deploy a robust, coherent, coordinated and rapid financial package.

The statement called on finance ministers and central bank governors to coordinate to develop a "G20 action plan" in response to the outbreak.

It went on to say that the G20 was committed to take all necessary health measures and seek to ensure "adequate financing" to contain the pandemic and protect people.

Stressing that the G20 countries will expand manufacturing capacity to meet the increasing need for medical supplies as well as making them widely available, the statement underlined the necessity of "urgent short-term actions" to step up global efforts to fight the coronavirus crisis.

The G20 called on all countries, international organizations, the private sector, philanthropies and individuals to contribute to these efforts.

The leaders also agreed on cooperation to increase research and development funding for vaccines and medicines to fight the virus as well as to leverage digital technologies and strengthen scientific international cooperation.

"We will work to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies, critical agricultural products and other goods and services across borders and work to resolve disruptions to the global supply chains to support the health and well-being of all people."

The statement also said that the emergency measures aimed at protecting health will be "targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary."

“We reiterate our goal to realize a free, fair, nondiscriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment and to keep our markets open,” it added.

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