The Financial Express

IMF fears higher debt burdens, poverty, inequality worldwide

| Updated: October 16, 2020 14:34:32

IMF fears higher debt burdens, poverty, inequality worldwide

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called the ongoing global economic recovery partial and uneven that is marked by significant uncertainty, as the pandemic continues to spread in places.

An IMF virtual meeting that concluded on Thursday expressed the global agency’s readiness with policy tools to restore confidence, jobs, and growth, saying, “We stand ready to assist the most vulnerable countries and people.”

It emphasised the need for international cooperation to accelerate the research, development, manufacturing, and distribution of Covid-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, with the aim of supporting equitable and affordable access for all.

“The crisis threatens to leave long-lasting scars on the global economy, such as weaker productivity growth, heavier debt burdens, heightened financial vulnerabilities, and higher poverty and inequality,” the policy-setting panel of the 189-nation body said in the joint communiqué of its 42nd meeting.

As the crisis abates, it said, it will continue to aim for a robust recovery in growth as “we gradually shift fiscal resources from broad-based to more targeted support and facilitate structural transformation, cushioning the impact on jobs, vulnerable people, and viable firms, while preserving debt sustainability.”

The multilateral agency recommended that monetary policies should remain accommodative, in line with central banks’ mandates. “We will continue to monitor and, as necessary, tackle financial vulnerabilities and risks to financial stability, including with macroprudential policies. We reaffirm our exchange rate commitments.”

The IMF communiqué maintains that the agency would promote investment with high social and economic returns, and aim to unlock the potential of the digital economy while addressing related challenges. “We reaffirm our commitment to strong governance, including by tackling corruption,” it added.

In this context, the IMF iterated its commitment to working “together to continue to enhance debt transparency and sustainable financing practices by both debtors and creditors, public and private.”

“We will support countries’ efforts to maintain debt sustainability, or to restore it where debt is unsustainable, and will work together with all stakeholders to improve the architecture for sovereign debt resolution,” the communiqué said.

The IMF and its sister organisation, the World Bank, held their fall meetings virtually, due to the pandemic situation.

[email protected]


Share if you like