WASHINGTON -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group should work closely together to contain the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure fair and efficient distribution of vaccines across all countries, the institutions' Development Committee said on Friday.
"Timely delivery of safe and effective vaccines across all countries is critical to ending the pandemic, especially as new variants emerge," the joint ministerial committee of the World Bank and the IMF said in a communique following a virtual meeting. (IMF-World Bank)
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VIENNA -- The U.S. promise on lifting unilateral sanctions must be put into action immediately, said Wang Qun, Chinese envoy to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, on Friday, after a meeting with other senior diplomats concerning the Iran nuclear deal.
"Regarding the unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, China and the parties concerned clearly expressed their concerns at the meeting, and it must be lifted immediately," Wang told Xinhua after the talks on the resumption of implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by the United States and Iran. (JCPOA-Iran Nuclear Talk)
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LA PAZ -- Bolivia on Friday said it decided to keep its border with Brazil closed for another seven days to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus disease, especially the Brazilian variant of the virus considered to be more contagious and possibly more lethal.
Bolivia first closed its border with Brazil on April 2, with provisions for cross-border trade, and was to lift the ban on Friday. (Bolivia-Coronavirus)
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WARSAW -- The total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Poland exceeded 2.5 million on Friday, with the pandemic leaving over 57,000 dead, the country's health ministry reported.
With 28,487 new cases confirmed in a 24-hour span, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said that the numbers seem to have started falling. He warned, however, that the sharp rise in cases one to two weeks earlier will now have its effect on hospital occupancy. (Poland-COVID-19)
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UNITED NATIONS -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday welcomed the steps announced by the International Monetary and Finance Committee (IMFC) and the World Bank Group Development Committee to address debt crises and other financial distress to economies arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued via his spokesperson, the UN chief said developing economies had struggled to secure enough financial resources to cope with the onset of the coronavirus crisis, "let alone to recover from it." (UN-Guterres-IMF-World Bank)