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This week, leaders from medicine, economics, politics and civil society are uniting to demand immediate and coordinated international action — in the next few days — to mobilize the resources needed to address the COVID-19 crisis, prevent the current health catastrophe from becoming one of the worst in history and avert a global depression. As a letter to the world’s leaders notes, because we are so far behind the COVID-19 curve, many lives are being lost needlessly, other health issues are being ignored, and societies and economies are being devastated.

During the global financial crisis of 2008, Group of 20 leaders worked to coordinate a global response. And in other previous emergencies — such as tsunami, civil wars or epidemics — coalitions of countries have convened donor conferences to generate the necessary resources. Today, we need both: a G20 task force to coordinate international support and a donors’ conference to make that support effective.

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