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Need for equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines, says Sitharaman at G20 meet

BusinessToday.In     April 8, 2021

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman underscored the need for equitable access and widespread distribution of coronavirus vaccines at the Second G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting.

This meeting aimed at discussing policy measures to counter global challenges to restore strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth and updates of the G20 Action Plan in response to COVID-19.  In this meeting, issues like supporting the most vulnerable economies financially, promoting greener transactions and pandemic related financial regulation issues were discussed.

The Union minister said India is carrying out an 'ambitious' programme of rapid vaccination and has also emerged as an important producer of vaccines and medical products globally during this crisis. She added, "India has covered over 8.7 crore citizens in its vaccination drive so far and has supplied over 64 million doses to 84 countries, including 10 million doses as a grant."

Noting the G20 Action Plan's role in shaping economic recovery, Sitharaman talked about global economic growth projections and said there is a need for continuous coordination as uncertainties associated with the virus still persist.

Sitharaman expounded on the need for progress on commitments made as part of the Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2016. She stated that while channeling flows of international financial institutions into green transactions, it should also be recognised the immediate challenge, particularly for developing and low-income nations is to restore growth.

The finance minister also supported the extension of the debt service suspension initiative till December 2021 to provide more economic support to the most vulnerable economies.

Edited by Mehak Agarwal

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