New Delhi, Mar 26: Aiming to combat the social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the G20 nations on Thursday committed to inject over five trillion dollars into the global economy.
The member nations of G20 also agreed to contribute to the World Health Organisation (WHO)-led COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund on a voluntary basis.
Saudi Arabia, which holds the G20 presidency this year, called an extraordinary virtual meeting to discuss global efforts to deal with the coronavirus crisis, which has infected nearly five lakh people and claimed over 21,000 lives so far.
Chairing the virtual meeting with the leaders of the group via video conferencing, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said the nations in the bloc also needed to assist developing nations and fund research into finding a vaccine against the virus.
At the meeting, "G20 leaders agreed to take all necessary measures to contain the pandemic and protect people. They also supported strengthening of the WHO’s mandate in the fight against pandemics, including delivery of medical supplies, diagnostic tools, treatments, medicines and vaccines,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Leaders also committed to use all available policy tools to minimize the economic and social cost of the pandemic and to restore global growth, market stability and strengthen resilience.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the King of Saudi Arabia for convening this extraordinary session of G20. In his remarks, Mr Modi noted the alarming social and economic cost of the pandemic.
He added that 90 per cent of the COVID-19 cases and 88 percent of deaths were in G20 countries even as they share 80 percent of world GDP and 60 percent of world population. He called on the G20 to come out with a concrete action plan to fight the global pandemic.
The PM underscored “the need to put human beings at the centre of our vision of global prosperity and cooperation, freely and openly share the benefits of medical research and development, develop adaptive, responsive and humane health care systems, promote new crisis management protocols and procedures for an interconnected global village, strengthen and reform intergovernmental organisations like WHO and work together to reduce economic hardships resulting from COVID-19 particularly for the economically weak'.
He called on the Leaders to help usher in a new globalization, for the collective well-being of humankind and have multilateral fora focus on promoting the shared interests of humanity.
Earlier, the PM had a telephonic conversation with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia on this subject.
The extraordinary G20 Summit was a culmination of the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting and G20 Sherpas Meeting on the COVID-19 pandemic. (UNI)