Friday, September 29, 2023

Multilateral agencies need to provide more funds to deal with pandemic situations in future: FM


New Delhi, February 17: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday urged multilateral financial institutions to increase funding especially to low and middle income countries to prepare them to deal with pandemic situations in the future.
Participating in a virtual panel discussion at a G20 meeting being held at Bali, Indonesia, the minister said that low income and middle income countries do not have enough resources and need global support to face challenges.
“It’s apparent now for more that has been discussed from the morning and even in this panel that investment should happen now for a safer future is agreed upon,” she said while sharing her views on mobilising finance for global public goods.
For example, she said, India alone had allocated USD 29 billion for health infrastructure mission in which health insurance was assured for the poor and the low income groups.
“Increased funding would be needed from multilateral development banks. Resilient and Sustainability Trust (RST) being created by the IMF must keep pandemic preparedness in mind.
“Therefore, the principle being agreed upon investment, looking at addressing fairness, and also financing modalities being well established so that they have inclusivity, transparency and equity in mind,” she said.
The proposed USD 50 billion-worth RST’s central objective is to provide affordable long-term financing to support countries as they tackle structural challenges.
Stressing that the committee appointed by the G20 has done commendable work in giving a roadmap for fund mobilisation, she said the gap can be filled with other means, including through Official Development Assistance (ODA).
She said the World Health Organisation (WHO) needed to expand its capacity and mobilise global resources, and structural bottlenecks would have to be addressed to bring down the impact a pandemic might have.
“These are the ways in which the high level committee having done this work and recognise that all of us will have to contribute towards global public good is the way for us for all of us to walk together hand in hand,” she said. (PTI)