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At UN, Costa Rica defends international fund to alleviate economic blow of pandemic

The president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, defended Tuesday before the UN the creation of a fund financed by industrialized countries to face the global economic devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Fund Against the Covid-19 Economy (FACE), defended by Alvarado, would be financed with 0.7% of the GDP of the world’s largest economies to accumulate “half a trillion dollars,” which would be distributed by multilateral development banks with favorable terms for lower-income countries.

“The funds would be provided in the long term and at fixed rates. This figure is modest when compared with the amounts that high-income economies have made available internally to face the consequences of Covid-19,” said the Costa Rican president.

Alvarado assured that the fund would prevent the economic destabilization of emerging countries and of the global financial system.

Alvarado questioned in his speech that global military spending registered in 2019 the largest annual increase in the last decade, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

“If at least a fraction of all these resources were used to combat the pandemic, as well as the climate crisis, our generation could proudly say that it knew how to redefine its priorities when circumstances required it,” Alvarado said.

The Costa Rican leader also spoke for an international platform that allows the sharing of knowledge and intellectual property of tests, treatments and technologies against Covid-19.

“Participation in the proposed exchange platform is voluntary, so I invite more states to join it,” said Alvarado, noting that it currently has the participation of more than 40 countries.

He stressed that Costa Rica has also contributed to the platform by detailing its equine plasma treatment developed by the University of Costa Rica (UCR). The antiviral serum has been shown to fight the virus in initial tests and seeks to reduce hospitalizations.

Costa Rica, with 5 million inhabitants, has suffered a strong impact from Covid-19, with more than 66,000 infections and 760 deaths.

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