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"Advanced economies - asked to contribute most to this effort - would likely see the highest return on public investment in modern history, capturing 40 per cent of the GDP gains and roughly US dollar 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 US dollar 50 billion, with US dollar 35 billion to be paid for by grants from rich countries, private and multilateral donors, and the remaining US dollar 15 billion to be funded by national governments using low- or no-interest financing available from multilateral development banks.

G20 countries had already recognized the need for some US dollar 22 billion in grants to tackle the health crisis, leaving some US dollar 13 billion in additional grants needed to reach US dollar 50 billion, the IMF said.

Georgieva had discussed the proposal with leaders in the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies and G20, Gopinath told reporters, adding that she wanted to say she was optimistic they would back the plan, but it was too soon to be sure.

"The amount that is needed is not very big, and the reason is because a lot of investment has already been made," she said.

The plan calls for upfront financing, vaccine donations and moves to ensure free cross-border flows of raw materials and finished vaccines, as well as some US dollar 8 billion in investments to diversify and increase vaccine production capacity worldwide.

The IMF projected some 1 billion doses could be donated this year even if countries prioritized their own populations, and another 1 billion doses should be produced by early 2022 to handle emerging risks, such as new virus variants that require booster shots.

While the vaccine supply was still limited, it called for US dollar 30 billion in spending on widespread testing, sufficient therapeutics and preparations for vaccine deployment, as well as US dollar 2 billion to evaluate and implement dose-stretching strategies.

Without urgent actions, many emerging and developing countries might have to wait until the end of 2022 or later to bring the pandemic under control, they said. Even richer countries that were vaccinating quickly faced risks, Gopinath said.

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