The infusion — pushed through a targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes — will counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic, according to a statement released after the G20 Leaders’ Summit.
“We ask our finance ministers and central bank governors to coordinate on a regular basis to develop a G20 action plan in response to COVID-19 and work closely with international organisations to swiftly deliver the appropriate international financial assistance,” the statement said.
Held through videoconferencing, the Saudi Arabia-hosted summit also committed to expanding the manufacturing capacity to meet the increasing demand for medical supplies and ensuring these are made widely available, at an affordable price, on an equitable basis, where they are most needed and as quickly as possible.
Health ministers have also been mandated to meet, as needed, to share national best practices and develop a set of G20 urgent actions on jointly combating the pandemic, in their ministerial meeting in April.
The nations resolved to share timely and transparent information, exchange epidemiological and clinical data, share materials necessary for research and development, and strengthen health systems globally.
The summit also decided to provide immediate resources to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) COVID-19 solidarity response fund, the coalition for epidemic preparedness and innovation (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, on a voluntary basis.
The leaders also asked the WHO to submit a report to assess gaps in pandemic preparedness and report to a joint meeting of finance and health ministers in the coming months. The move will establish a global initiative on pandemic preparedness and response.
Trade ministers of the bloc are expected to meet soon to assess the impact of the pandemic on global trade. In a show of rare solidarity following years of bitter differences on trade matters, the G20 leaders have now committed to come together to “coordinate trade responses in ways that avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade”.
The summit also saw the decision to implement emergency measures aimed at protecting health through targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary interjunctions. The member nations also decided to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies, critical agricultural products, and other goods and services across borders, and vowed to work to resolve disruptions to the global supply chains.
However, rather than focusing on the bigger players, the discussion took special care to address the challenges for poorer economies.
“We are gravely concerned with the serious risks posed to all countries, particularly developing and least developed countries, and notably in Africa and small island states,” the statement said.
The G20 urged the central banks of member nations to support the flow of credit to households and businesses, promote financial stability, and enhance liquidity in global markets. It also welcomed the extension of swap lines that central banks have undertaken.