WASHINGTON: The coronavirus pandemic has driven the global economy into a downturn that will require massive funding to help developing nations, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said Friday.
“It is clear that we have entered a recession” that will be worse than in 2009 following the global financial crisis, she said in an online press briefing.
With the worldwide economic “sudden stop,” Georgieva said the fund’s estimate “for the overall financial needs of emerging markets is $2.5 trillion.”
But she warned that estimate “is on the lower end.”
Governments in emerging markets, which have suffered an exodus of capital of more than $83 billion in recent weeks, can cover much of that, but “clearly the domestic resources are insufficient” and many already have high debt loads.
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.”
The IMF chief spoke to reporters following a virtual meeting with the Washington-based lender’s steering committee, when she officially requested a increase in the fund’s fast-deploying emergency facilities from their current level of around $50 billion.
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.”