Washington DC [USA], April 16 (ANI): IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has outlined the difficult economic environment countries are facing because of the COVID-19 epidemic and her global plan of action to take it on.
"It is a crisis like no other in scope. We are now in the worst recession since the Great Depression," she said at a virtual press conference to open the 2020 Spring Meetings on Wednesday (local time).
"We are experiencing a 3 per cent contraction of global GDP. And 170 countries are going to see income per capita falling versus what we expected three months ago for a 160 for them to go up."
Georgieva encouraged leaders to protect lives and livelihoods during this difficult phase. Lifelines for households and businesses should be provided to prepare for the time of recovery, she said.
"Making sure that our financial system continues to function -- it matters. And what we have seen is central banks providing ample liquidity. Eight trillion dollars of fiscal measures. So our message is: spend as much as you can but keep the receipts. We do not want accountability and transparency to take a backseat in this crisis."
Georgieva compared the increased vulnerability of people with preconditions to the vulnerability of economies that already had preexisting difficulties prior to the pandemic.
"It is a really difficult time for everybody. But in particular, it is difficult for countries that already stepped into this crisis with complex challenges. The same way the virus hits people with existing preconditions that are more vulnerable, the hardest. It hits economies with pre-existing difficulties, the hardest."
Georgieva reiterated that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will look at all options to help countries in need. "The IMF will support its member countries as they confront the post-crisis challenges, including debt vulnerabilities, bankruptcies, unemployment, and economic inequality," she said.
"We are telling everybody: do all you can. And I just want to assure you that we are following ourselves on our own advice. Everything is on the table in terms of measures we can take. What we do is: first, do all we can with the resources we have. Second, make sure that there are no gaps in what we have to be of service to the membership." (ANI)