The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group “stand ready to help our member countries” address the human tragedy and economic challenge posed by the COVID-19 virus, the two multilateral institutions said in a joint statement Monday.
“We are engaged actively with international institutions and country authorities, with special attention to poor countries where health systems are the weakest and people are most vulnerable,” the statement read.
“We will use our available instruments to the fullest extent possible, including emergency financing, policy advice, and technical assistance,” the statement read. “In particular, we have rapid financing facilities that, collectively, can help countries respond to a wide range of needs.”
The two multilateral institutions noted the strengthening of country health surveillance and response systems is “crucial” to contain the spread of this and any future outbreaks, and that international cooperation is “essential” to deal with the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 virus.
In late February, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that the Chinese authorities are working to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy, with crisis measures, liquidity provision, fiscal measures, and financial support, adding that she “had an excellent discussion” with Chinese senior officials.
At the Group of Twenty (G20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the IMF revised down 2020 global growth to 3.2 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than its January projection.
To avoid more dire scenarios, Georgieva said, “global cooperation is essential to the containment of the COVID-19 and its economic impact, particularly if the outbreak turns out to be more persistent and widespread.” Enditem