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This rather technical letter has been put together by Jamie Drummond and some eminent economists and just sent to the world’s leading finance ministers. It outlines what should be agreed by the Group of 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors - the world’s money men and women - when they meet virtually this weekend. They will be discussing the crucial matter of financing humanity’s fight against COVID-19 and its huge negative impacts on our shared Global Goals of equality and sustainability.
It is crazy how much money many of the most vulnerable nations and citizens are still spending repaying debts, cash which they should be able to put into health, education and humanitarian needs. It is incredible that we could accelerate our collective global exit from COVID-19 potentially by years, saving millions of lives and trillions of dollars, for the price of just two days of this pandemics impact. And yet our money managers – for that’s what these finances ministers are - have not yet invested that money in our collective future safety, when they are literally sitting on the money. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank already have the financial firepower to deal with a lot of these life and death issues. Our finance ministers are the major shareholders in these institutions, and we need to ask them to instruct the IMF and World Bank to use that power. They just need some moral imagination and motivation. That’s where you come in.
There is a way forward. But will Rishi Sunak of the UK or Bruno Le Maire of France or Tito Mboweni of South Africa or Steve Mnuchin of the USA or others around the digital table be able to show the leadership needed on debt, vaccines or investing in educational transformation for the next generation? We need a new financing deal to invest in beating COVID-19, future pandemic prevention, the existentially essential energy transition and the economically essential education sector’s recovery – so that all citizens have access to the tools they need to lead lives of dignity, opportunity and resilience to future risks. Two places you can take action are at ONE.org on debt and 350.org for a wider healthy, just and green recovery..."