Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director
Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director
International

COVID-19 wipes US$50 billion off global exports:IMF

Agency News

United Nations, Mar 5: As some Economists from the United Nations announced a likely $50 billion drop in worldwide manufacturing exports in February alone, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that the UN-backed global funds would make up the shortfall, in effect, by offering to inject around $50 billion into low-income and emerging market nations, pending requests for support.

"The IMF is making available about $50 billion through its rapid-disbursing emergency financing facilities for low income and emerging market countries that could potentially seek support. Of this, $10 billion is available at zero interest for the poorest members through the Rapid Credit Facility", IMF said in a statement. Preliminary economic data analysed by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, indicate that virus containment measures in China – where the outbreak emerged in late December – have already caused a “substantial decline in output”.

Those worst hit are expected to the European Union ($15.5 billion), the United States ($5.8 billion) and Japan ($5.2 billion), said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, who heads UNCTAD’s Division on International Trade and Commodities. For developing economies that are reliant on selling raw materials, the effects could be felt “very, very intensely”, she added. The IMF chief said that members can access emergency financing through the Rapid Financing Instrument. "This facility could provide about $40 billion for emerging markets that could potentially approach us for financial support. We also have the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust – the CCRT – which provides eligible countries with up-front grants for relief on IMF debt service falling due.

"The CCRT proved to be effective during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, but is now underfunded with just over $200 million available against possible needs of over $1 billion." She called on member countries "to help ensure that this facility is fully re-charged and ready for the current crisis", and said that the Fund was "fully committed to supporting our member countries, particularly the most vulnerable. We have the tools to help and we are coordinating closely with our partner institutions." UNI

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