Can use full $1-trillion war chest for coronavirus outbreak, says IMF

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva
Describing the Covid-19 pandemic as a crisis like no other, International Monetary Fund head Kristalina Georgieva on Wednesday said the international body is proposing to use all its $1 trillion lending capacity to support countries battling the outbreak.

"It is a crisis like no other. In scope, we are now in the worst recession since the Great Depression. We are experiencing a 3 percent contraction of global GDP, and 170 countries are going to see income per capita falling versus what we expected three months ago for 160—for them to go up," Georgieva told reporters at the start of the annual spring meeting of IMF and the World Bank here.

In view of coronavirus crisis, the spring meeting is being held virtually-- the first one in the history of IMF and the World Bank.

For the first time in the history of the IMF, epidemiologists are providing inputs for its macroeconomic projections, and they're telling the IMF it may get even worse if the virus continues its round for longer, or if vaccines and treatment are slow to come around, the IMF Managing Director said.

Georgieva said that the IMF is proposing to deploy the full $1 trillion lending capacity to support countries dealing with the tremendous challenge this crisis presents. It is also proposing to double emergency financial assistance.

"We started aiming for $50 billion, we are now at $100 billion, and in one short month, the month of April, our Board will have approved half of what is now exceptionally high demand for these resources, 102 countries asking for it. Already we disbursed for 15 in a record short time," she said.


IMF needs to maintain stability of global financial architecture: FM

India on Thursday said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should continue to play a critical role in maintaining the stability of the global financial architecture at a time when the whole world is grappling with the coronovrius pandemic.

Participating in the plenary meeting through videoconferencing, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said as a responsible member of the global community, India is providing critical medicines to other nations.

She also talked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative of creating a Covid-19 Emergency Fund for the SAARC region at a video-meeting of the grouping's leaders.


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