Countries across the world must work together if there is to be hope of overcoming the novel coronavirus pandemic, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.
“The G-20 policy agenda must include a collaborative global solution to ensure the development, production, and distribution of effective medical treatments and vaccines,” the IMF said in its G20 Report on Strong, Sustainable, Balanced, and Inclusive Growth.
Underlining that all countries must be given access to sufficient health supplies and medical solutions, the fund said: “This not only helps smaller and poorer economies, it would also bring the world back to normalcy more quickly, helping activity also in larger economies.”
The report argued that export limits or bans on critical supplies must be removed quickly as such measures “limit the flow of goods at potentially great humanitarian cost.”
It said governments should continue to support households, workers and firms as “premature withdrawal of policy support would be costly in this environment.”
Highlighting that the pandemic changed the global economic landscape, the report said the virus led to a deep recession this year.
It warned that the global recovery would be partial and uneven, with some sectors recovering rapidly and others more slowly.
The worst seems to be left behind but uncertainty continues amid rising infection figures, it stressed.
“The pandemic has been a severe blow to people with low- and medium-skill jobs, many of which are women and youth,” the report said.
It added: “Sustained, strong, and inclusive growth is unlikely until the pandemic is stifled with medical solutions.
“To avoid elevated structural unemployment and a loss in productivity, a reskilling of workers and efficient debt workouts will likely be required.”
Deep effects on global economy
COVID-19, which first appeared in China last December, has infected more than 46.6 million people across 190 regions and countries around the world and killed over 1.2 million patients, while recoveries from the disease have exceeded 31.1 million so far.
The global outbreak has impacted several economic activities, especially tourism, travel, aviation and manufacturing, and has caused a deep contraction in the world economy.
Last month, the fund released another report that expected the world economy would narrow by 4.4% in 2020, better than the previous IMF expectation of minus 5.2%.
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