The International Monetary Fund expects the worst “economic downpour” since the Great Depression due to the novel pandemic, the fund manager said.
“However, it is already clear that global growth will develop strongly negatively in 2020, as you will see in our world economic outlook next week,” emphasized Kristalina Georgieva on Thursday.
She said the pandemic destroyed social and economic order in a flash, causing the tragic loss of life and a global blockade.
The annual spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group next week with its 189 members will focus on this topic, she stressed.
While global growth expectations were positive just three months ago, they have since turned into a negative scenario, she added.
The IMF’s International Institute of Finance also revised its global GDP forecast to minus 2.8% for the first time. The forecast from last October was 2.6%.
Georgieva stressed that the virus has struck every country, but emerging and poor countries are at particularly high risk.
“With health systems initially weaker, many face the terrible challenge of fighting the virus in densely populated cities and poverty-stricken slums where social distancing is hardly an option,” she said.
She added, “We estimate the gross funding needs for emerging and developing countries to be trillions of dollars and they can only cover a portion of that on their own, leaving remaining gaps in the hundreds of billions of dollars.”
She said, “You need help urgently.”
Georgieva also said countries around the world have taken action totaling around $ 8 trillion so far in the face of the pandemic.
If the global outbreak problem is resolved in the second half of 2020, the world economy could gradually recover in 2020 and 2021, she said.
Originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to at least 184 countries and regions around the world.
The pandemic has killed nearly 96,000 people and infected over 1.6 million, while more than 355,000 people have recovered from the disease, according to data from the U.S. Johns Hopkins University.