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Coronavirus

More than 225 Global VIPs Call for $2.5 Trillion Plan to Tackle COVID-19

UNITED NATIONS — More than 225 current and former global VIPs are urging leaders of the world’s 20 major economic powers to hold an urgent meeting to agree to a $2.5 trillion plan to tackle COVID-19 and launch an economic recovery from the pandemic, especially for developing and middle-income countries.

They said in a letter to the leaders released Monday that these poor and middle-income countries, which represent nearly 70 percent of the world’s population and approximately one-third of global GDP, demand immediate action. Over 100 countries have approached the International Monetary Fund for help and more are expected to do so, they added.

Without action from the G20, the prominent global figures warned that the recession caused by the pandemic will deepen, hurting all economies “and the world’s most marginalized and poorest peoples the most.”

They said the G20 nations represent 85 percent of the world’s nominal GDP and have “the capacity to lead the mobilization of resources on the scale required” — and “we urge leaders to do so immediately.”

The signatories include more than 75 former world leaders, three Nobel peace prize winners, four Nobel laureates in economics, former U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, philanthropist George Soros and numerous former U.N. officials and past and present economists, humanitarian and health experts.

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