Conversation between Melinda Gates & Kristalina Georgieva
COVID-19 anywhere is an obstacle to the recovery everywhere.
Overcoming the pandemic requires investments—in testing, therapeutics,
and vaccines—and global cooperation. Join this conversation on how to
pave the way for an inclusive recovery.
Melinda Gates Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates
Becky Anderson Anchor, CNN (Moderator)
The discussants addressed the impact of the pandemic on women and
poor countries and the need for investments in testing, therapeutics,
and vaccines while ensuring an inclusive recovery and global
cooperation to overcome the pandemic.
· Vaccine development and impact on economic recovery.
Georgieva expected a vaccine by next year, although universal
deployment will take time. Without a vaccine, the recovery would be
slower and bumpier, and inequality would likely increase. Gates
underscored the importance of taking care of everyone by focusing on
who is struggling the most and who can help the fastest; ensuring the
vaccine goes out first to healthcare workers globally and then to the
most vulnerable populations in each country. Gates stressed the
importance of global cooperation and highlighted the efforts made
through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
· Women are disproportionately affected. The pandemic has
impacted women disproportionally given their higher participation in
the informal sector and healthcare; 70 percent of frontline healthcare
workers are women. Gates shared experiences from the Ebola epidemy,
highlighting the shadow pandemic issue for women and the impact on
their health and schooling. To address these issues, she cited
policies such as suspension of tuition fees to help families from
deciding between keeping their son or daughter in school; ensuring
women have clean and healthy birthing kits for home delivery and
putting cash transfers directly in the hands of women.
· Macroeconomic policies. Georgieva stressed the need to
support people and the economy through monetary policy and fiscal
spending, even if debt levels will go up. In many advanced countries,
interest rates are low or even negative and borrowing is cheap. For
emerging and low-income economies, spending is also needed, but the
high debt levels are more concerning. She noted that the Fund and the
World Bank had lobbied the G20 to extend the provide debt suspension
for poor countries and stressed the need for more grants and
concessional financing to get out of this crisis. Gates stressed the
importance of investing in infrastructure, in particular in human capital.
“Do not withdraw this support prematurely ... until we have a
durable exit from the health crisis. We have to continue to support
people and the economy.” Kristalina Georgieva
“If you take the first two billion doses of vaccine and they only
get out to the high-income countries, you are going to get twice as
much death.” Melinda Gates
“Women do more work than men: on an average, women do 2.7 hours
every day more at home than men do.” Kristalina Georgieva
“If you put money in a woman’s hands it will get spent properly
on health, education and jobs”Melinda Gates