The human costs of the Coronavirus pandemic are already immeasurable and all countries need to work together to protect people and limit the economic damage, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement. She made her statement yesterday following a conference call with G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors at Washington, DC. She said it is paramount to prioritize containment of the virus and strengthen health systems—everywhere. “The economic impact is and will be severe, but the faster the virus stops, the quicker and stronger the recovery will be. We strongly support the extraordinary fiscal actions many countries have already taken to boost health systems and protect affected workers and firms. We welcome the moves of major central banks to ease monetary policy. These bold efforts are not only in the interest of each country, but of the global economy as a whole. Even more will be needed, especially on the fiscal front,” she said. She said the IMF was concentrating bilateral and multilateral surveillance on this crisis and policy actions to temper its impact. “We will massively step up emergency finance—nearly 80 countries are requesting our help—and we are working closely with the other international financial institutions to provide a strong coordinated response. We are replenishing the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to help the poorest countries. We welcome the pledges already made and call on others to join. We stand ready to deploy all our US$1 trillion lending capacity and we are looking at other available options,” Ms. Georgieva said.
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