IMF Chief Says The World Is Now In Recession

The global economy is now in a recession thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva announced on Friday

She added that she was heartened to see world leaders finally realizing that only a coordinated effort would be able to stem the spread of the virus and that containment would dictate the strength of recovery

Press TV reports: “We have stated that the world is now in recession and that the length and depth of this recession depend on two things: Containing the virus and having an effective, coordinated response to the crisis,” she said. 

“I’m very encouraged by what I see now. I see much clearer understanding [among global leaders] that if we don’t beat it everywhere we won’t be able to get out of it,” she added.

“We should not go … with small measures now when we know that it is a gigantic crisis,” she said minutes later. “We’ve never seen the world economy standing still. Now we [do]. How we go about revitalizing it is another important topic.”

The IMF has taken extraordinary measures in recent weeks to help combat the economic toll COVID-19, and efforts to contain its spread, has had on economies around the globe.

On March 16 the international body said it “stands ready” to use its $1 trillion lending capacity to help countries around the world that are struggling with the humanitarian and economic impact of the novel coronavirus.

Over 80 countries, mostly of low incomes, have already have requested emergency aid from the International Monetary Fund, she said.

“We do know that their own reserves and domestic resources will not be sufficient,” Georgieva said, adding that the fund is aiming to beef up its response “to do more, do it better, do it faster than ever before.”

She also welcomed the $2.2 trillion economic package approved by the US Senate, saying “it is absolutely necessary to cushion the world’s largest economy against an abrupt drop the economic activities.”

Georgieva wrote at the time that such support could be used to aid its members, especially emerging and developing countries. The IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust “can help the poorest countries with immediate debt relief, which will free up vital resources for health spending, containment, and mitigation.”