- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Lawmakers call on G20 leaders to secure funds for WHO, IMF and World Bank amid coronavirus outbreak

A pair of senior Democratic senators are urging President Trump to secure financial and logistical commitments from global leaders at the upcoming virtual meeting of the G20 nations as countries around the world scramble to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

In a letter to Mr. Trump Wednesday, Sens. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, and Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat, requested that the president use the emergency meeting to ensure the group of powerful nations, including the U.S., will provide “robust” monetary support to health and finance institutions that are racing to combat the virus.

“This pandemic is not a challenge that we can face alone; we must work through every multilateral institution in which we participate,” the senators wrote. “We must unite to combat this virus and the lasting impacts it will have on our citizens’ health and economic well-being. We must put aside political differences. Now is the time for action.”

Just days earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it needs the G20 nations to increase the production of hospital gear and drop export bans to ensure that countries with the greatest need are equipped to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Mr. Leahy, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, called on the group of 20 nations, which take up 90% of the world’s GDP, to commit to fully funding the WHO, International Monetary Fund and World Bank “so these institutions can carry out their missions to drive economic stability and development, and recovery.”

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