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WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund on Friday unveiled a $50 billion proposal to end the COVID-19 pandemic by vaccinating at least 40% of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and at least 60% by the first half of 2022.

Doing so, IMF officials say, would inject the equivalent of $9 trillion into the global economy by 2025 due to a faster resumption of economic activity, with rich countries potentially benefiting the most.

The pandemic has killed more than 3.5 million people across the world, and projections point to highly unequal health prospects well into 2022, which poses "severe risks" for the world, including heightened chances of social unrest and geopolitical tensions, the IMF said.

Across Africa, just 2% of the population has been vaccinated, compared to 40% for the United States and 20% in Europe. Barring quick action, many poor nations will not see large percentages of their populations vaccinated until 2023, the IMF said.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told a health summit hosted by the European Commission and Group of 20 major economies that it made sense for rich economies to boost donations to ensure a faster end to the pandemic.

"Advanced economies - asked to contribute most to this effort - would likely see the highest return on public investment in modern history, capturing 40% of the GDP gains and roughly $1 trillion in additional tax revenues," she said in her prepared remarks.

The proposal, drafted by IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath and staff economist Ruchir Agarwal, builds on efforts already underway by the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, United Nations, World Health Organization and other groups.

Implementing the plan would cost some $50 billion, with $35 billion to be paid for by grants from rich countries, private and multilateral donors, and the remaining $15 billion to be funded by national governments using low- or no-interest financing available from multilateral development banks.

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