PM Roots for New Crisis Management Protocol as G-20 Vows to Inject $5 Trillion into Global Economy

G-20 nations on Thursday pledged a "united front" in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and said they were injecting $5 trillion into the global economy to counter the impact of the crisis.

"We are injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic," the leaders said in a statement after an emergency online summit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also joined the online summit, thanked the King of Saudi Arabia for convening the extraordinary session and noted the alarming social and economic cost of the pandemic.

Modi urged the powerful G-20 grouping to put human beings rather than economic targets at the centre of their vision for global prosperity and cooperation. He also pitched for developing a new crisis management protocol and procedures to deal with global health crisis besides significantly boosting capability of organisations like the World Health Organization (WHO), government sources said.

Modi, who announced an unprecedented three-week national shutdown in India, said 90% of the COVID-19 cases and 88% of deaths were in G20 countries even as they share 80% of the world GDP and 60% of population. He called on the G20 nations to come out with a concrete action plan to fight the global pandemic.

Modi said the G-20 should work together to reduce economic hardships, particularly of the poor nations, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed over 21,000 people and infected more than 470,000 globally.

Modi called for ushering in a new globalisation for the collective well being of humankind, saying medical research should be freely and openly available for all countries. He said empowering the WHO was necessary for the development of effective vaccines to deal with global pandemics.

"Let us put human beings rather than economic targets at the centre of our vision for global prosperity and cooperation," Modi was quoted as saying by the sources.

He also stressed on developing a more adaptive, responsive, affordable and human healthcare system that can be deployed globally to deal with healthcare crisis.

The G-20 nationsn pledged to work swiftly with multilateral bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), WHO and regional banks to deploy a "robust" financial package to support developing nations.

Modi on Thursday also spoke with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani and discussed the situation arising from the coronavirus outbreak.

In his telephonic conversation with the crown prince, Modi thanked him for his personal attention to the health and safety of Indian expatriates in the present situation, an official statement said. The two leaders exchanged information and views on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation in their respective countries as well as the steps being taken by their governments, it said.

Modi and the emir of Qatar expressed hope that the efforts and measures being taken to stop the spread of the disease by all affected countries would yield early and positive results.

(With inputs from AFP and PTI)