Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

World

COVID economy: This ‘calamity is far from over’, IMF chief warns

Published

on

All countries face ‘the long ascent’ and risk leaving an entire generation behind, IMF’s Georgieva says.

The global economy is in “less dire” shape than it was in June but risks crashing again if governments end fiscal and monetary support too soon, fail to control the coronavirus and ignore emerging market debt problems, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Tuesday.

Georgieva told an online London School of Economics event that the IMF will make a small upward revision to its global economic output forecasts next week, adding: “My key message is this: The global economy is coming back from the depths of this crisis.”

“But this calamity is far from over. All countries are now facing what I would call ‘the long ascent’ – a difficult climb that will be long, uneven, and uncertain. And prone to setbacks,” she added in a speech billed as her “curtainraiser” for next week’s IMF and World Bank annual meetings.

In June, the IMF forecast that coronavirus-related shutdowns would shrink global gross domestic product by 4.9 percent, marking the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and called for more policy support from governments and central banks.

The IMF will publish its revised forecasts next week as member countries participate in the meetings, which will be held largely in an online format.

Georgieva said the IMF was continuing to project a “partial and uneven” recovery in 2021. In June, it forecast 2021 global growth of 5.4 percent.

A woman eats as people walk in the tourist area surrounding Houhai Lake during Chinese National Day holidays in Beijing, China [File: Thomas Peter/Reuters]

But $12 trillion in fiscal support, coupled with unprecedented monetary easing, has allowed many advanced economies, including the United States and the eurozone, to escape the worst damage of the pandemic, and some business sectors proved more able to operate amid it, Georgieva said. China also has recovered faster than expected.

This provided some positive spillovers for emerging markets, but Georgieva urged countries to maintain support for their economies, warning that global growth would stay subdued for the medium term and the risk of “severe economic scarring” was high.

A homeless man sleeps on a bench outside the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace during the coronavirus outbreak, in Buenos Aires, Argentina [File: Agustin Marcarian/Reuters]

“We are very clear in the message we are communicating to not withdraw support prematurely,” Georgieva said. “If we do so, then we risk massive bankruptcies and massive unemployment.”

‘Lost generation’

Emerging markets and low-income countries face a precarious situation with weak health systems, high external debt and dependency on sectors most exposed to the pandemic such as tourism and commodities, she said.

“In low-income countries, the shocks are so profound that we face the risk of a ‘lost generation’,” Georgieva said, signalling that the IMF and World Bank will press hard for more debt relief for low-income countries next week.

Health workers carry placards as they protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe [File: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters]

She called for rapid, additional debt help for low-income countries, beyond a moratorium on official bilateral debt payment until the end of 2020. She said development gains could be reversed without access to more grants, concessional credit and debt relief.

“In some cases, global coordination to restructure sovereign debt will be necessary, with full participation of public and private creditors,” Georgieva added.

Georgieva also urged highly indebted countries not to wait to seek debt restructurings and said tax reform was necessary to collect needed revenues.

The IMF’s board on Monday approved relief from debt payments owed to the IMF for 28 countries for another six months, until April 13, 2021. The move shifts those payments to a special catastrophe relief fund provided by wealthier member countries.

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

In Pictures: Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undefeated MMA champion

Published

on

MMA world lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his shock retirement from the sport on Saturday after revealing he promised his mother his clash with Justin Gaethje would be his last fight.

The Russian, who won by a second-round technical knockout, was fighting for the first time since the death of his father Abdulmanap, who was also his coach, in July.

“I’m the UFC undisputed, undefeated champion with a 13-0 record (in UFC), and 29-0 in all of my pro MMA career,” he said after his win in Abu Dhabi.

“Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father.

“When UFC comes to me about Justin I spoke with my mother for three days. She didn’t want me to fight without father and I said this is my last fight – and I have given her my word.

“Thank you, coach, thank you, guys. Today is my last fight in the UFC.”

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, 57, passed away after COVID-19 related complications in the summer.

Source

Continue Reading

World

Seychelles opposition candidate wins presidential election

Published

on

Ramkalawan, running for the presidency for the sixth time, won 54.9 percent of valid votes cast, poll body says.

Seychelles opposition candidate Wavel Ramkalawan has won the archipelago’s presidential election with 54.9 percent of valid votes cast, upsetting incumbent President Danny Faure.

“I declare… Ramkalawan as the elected candidate,” the electoral commission chairman Danny Lucas said on Sunday.

Voters on the main islands of Seychelles cast their ballot on Saturday in presidential and parliamentary elections spanning three days.

More than 74,000 registered to take part in the polls.

The opposition, narrowly defeated in a presidential election in 2015 and buoyed by a landmark victory in a parliamentary poll a year later, won its first presidential poll in the 40 years since Seychelles gained independence from Britain.

Ramkalawan, an Anglican priest and leader of the Seychelles Democratic Alliance, was running for the presidency for the sixth time. He lost the 2015 poll by 193 votes to James Michel in an unprecedented second round of voting.

The campaign took place mainly over social media, with rallies banned due to the coronavirus.

Seychelles has recorded only 149 cases, mostly imported, but the pandemic has been a burning campaign issue as restrictions on global travel bottom out the tourism industry – a major earner for Seychelles and employer for many of its 98,000 people.

Visitor numbers have collapsed since March in the archipelago nation of 115 islands, normally a popular destination for honeymooners and paradise-seekers drawn by its fine sandy beaches and turquoise waters.

Source

Continue Reading

World

Thousands of seals found dead at breeding colony in Namibia

Published

on

Cause of mass die-off unknown but scientists suspect pollutants, bacterial infection, or malnutrition.

An estimated 7,000 Cape fur seals have been discovered dead at a breeding colony in central Namibia.

Conservationist Naude Dreyer of the charity Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN) began noticing dead seals on the sandy beaches of Pelican Point colony – a tourist destination known for its colony of seals and schools of dolphins – near Walvis Bay city in September.

In the first two weeks of October, he found large numbers of seal foetuses at the colony.

Tess Gridley from the Namibian Dolphin Project estimated that between 5,000 and 7,000 female seals had miscarried young with more still being found.

Last week, there was a spike in the number of dead adult females, Dreyer said.

“What we have been observing is less freshly dead seal pups and a lot of dead female adults,” he said.

Fur seals normally give birth between mid-November and mid-December.

The cause of the mass die-off is yet to be established but scientists suspect anything from pollutants or bacterial infection to malnutrition.

Some of the dead females found were “thin-looking, emaciated, with very little fat reserves”, said Gridley.

In 1994, some 10,000 seals died and 15,000 foetuses were aborted in a mass die-off that was linked to starvation suspected to have resulted from a shortage of fish as well as from a bacterial infection at another breeding colony, the Cape Cross, some 116km (72 miles) north of the central tourist town Swakopmund.

Annely Haiphene, executive director in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources,  told AFP news agency she suspected the seals died from “lack of food” but will wait for the outcome of the tests.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending