MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The World Health Organisation has promised that investment in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, an international initiative to speed up production and distribution of equipment and materials necessary to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, will pay back in less than 36 hours after global trade is restored, according to a report published on Friday.
The document, titled An Economic Investment Case & Financing Requirements, says that the accelerator's $38 billion-budget is nothing compared to the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic and is just 10 percent of what the global economy loses every month amid the pandemic. It is also just 1 percent of the total of stimulus packages approved by G20 countries to keep their economies afloat.
"ACT-Accelerator’s financing gap is $US 35 billion. Fully financing ACT-Accelerator to help shorten the duration of the crisis would pay back this investment in less than 36 hours once global mobility and trade are restored," the paper argues.
According to the WHO, the progress achieved by the initiative, including more than 1,700 clinical trials and 50 diagnostic tests, is being analysed and evaluated. Nine vaccine candidates are currently stored at the COVAX vaccine facility, a procurement mechanism, coordinated by Gavi.
"We are not asking for an act of charity. We are asking for an investment in the global recovery. The economic benefits from restoring international travel and trade alone would repay this investment very, very quickly," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing.
The issue of availability of medical goods and services across the globe has become even more pressing amid the ongoing pandemic, and various initiatives, including the ACT-Accelerator, which involves the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are seeking to tackle it.