IMF: Limited access to vaccines puts the Middle East and North Africa at a critical juncture

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Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund, said today, Sunday, that the countries of the Middle East and North Africa region are facing a new wave of the Corona pandemic that is putting their economies at a critical juncture, given their limited ability to obtain vaccines.

Azour added, in the first monthly news reports issued by the Middle East and Central Asia Department, that the region is witnessing at the same time an uneven and fragile economic recovery in light of the emergence of new challenges, including the increasing rate of inflation and the decline in the space available to act through macro policies.

“As the region grapples with this challenging environment, it must not lose sight of the urgent need for a comprehensive policy program that addresses long-standing weaknesses for a transformative and inclusive recovery,” he added.

In the context of seeking to provide access to vaccines for countries of the world, the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund approved last August a historic distribution of special drawing rights allocations; Where this distribution is equivalent to 650 billion US dollars (about 456 billion) special drawing rights and aims to enhance global liquidity, from which the countries of the Middle East and North Africa receive allocations equivalent to 42 billion US dollars.

The monthly report adds, “Countries in the region that have well-established and accessible health care and social protection systems have been able to protect lives and livelihoods better than other countries; The Middle East and Central Asia Department of Social Expenditure research revealed that improving public spending on education, health, and social protection reduces poverty and inequality, leads to higher literacy rates and lower mortality rates. Therefore, in the coming period, countries should enhance the efficiency of spending on health, education and social protection.”

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The article, IMF: Limited access to vaccines puts the Middle East and North Africa at a critical juncture, was written in Al Borsa newspaper.