Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies pledged on Thursday to inject $5 trillion in fiscal spending into the global economy to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus and "do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic."Showing more unity than at any time since the 2008-2009 financial crisis that led to the G20's creation, the leaders said they committed during a videoconference summit to implement and fund all necessary health measures needed to stop the virus' spread.In a statement containing the most conciliatory language on trade in years, the G20 leaders pledged to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies and other goods across borders and to resolve supply chain disruptions.As many countries enact export bans on medical supplies, the G20 leaders said they would coordinate responses to avoid unnecessary interference."Emergency measures aimed at protecting health will be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary," they said.The G20 leaders also expressed concern about the risks to fragile countries, notably in Africa, and populations like refugees, acknowledging the need to bolster global financial safety nets and national health systems."We are strongly committed to presenting a united front against this common threat," the G20 leaders said in a joint statement following their 90-minute call.
Saudi Arabia, the current G20 chair, called the video summit amid earlier criticism of the group's slow response to the disease.