Accelerating the pace of vaccinations worldwide will be key not just to containing the coronavirus pandemic, but also to resolving the speed bumps besetting the global economic recovery, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said Thursday.
Finance officials gathered for the annual meeting of the Washington-based crisis lender have flagged concerns about supply chain bottlenecks that are pushing prices higher.
Those disruptions stem from the unprecedented situation created by the pandemic and the sharp rebound in demand as economies reopen, as well as struggles to hire workers amid renewed infections from the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
But Georgieva said the “more fundamental problem” is the growing divergence between “countries that are pulling forward more strongly, and those that are falling behind,” largely due to the drastically lower vaccination rates in lower-income nations.
“There was a very clear message coming out of this meeting that vaccinating the world is critical,” she told reporters.
While advanced countries are starting to provide booster shots, about 96 percent of the population of low-income countries are unvaccinated.