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News from the IMF /World Bank Spring Meetings : End to Russian-Ukraine conflict will hasten global recovery — IMF Boss

BY: Charles Benoni Okine
 Kristalina Georgieva — IMF boss
Kristalina Georgieva — IMF boss

The Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, has said an end to the Russian-Ukraine conflict will hasten global economic recovery.

“Immediate hope must be for the war to end—that would have the single most positive effect on the global recovery right now.

“In the meantime, we must do everything we can to help Ukraine and other heavily affected countries,” she said in her opening remarks to officially commence the 2022 World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings in Washington, yesterday.

In a live podcast monitored by the Graphic Business in Accra, she said the IMF has already provided $1.4 billion in emergency financing to Ukraine, and set up a special account through which others can securely contribute.

“Just a few days ago, President Zelenskyy and I discussed the massive reconstruction efforts that will be needed. We are also working to help impacted neighbors like Moldova—which is so generously hosting large numbers of refugees,” she said.

COVID-19

The IMF Boss asked countries of the world not to lose sight of the COVID-19 pandemic saying “we must continue to fight COVID-19 because the pandemic has not gone away.

With our partners, we have recently proposed a comprehensive toolkit that includes vaccines, testing, and anti-viral drugs.”

The IMF boss said; “We meet at a consequential moment for the world—facing a crisis upon a crisis. The war on top of the pandemic. It is like being hit by another storm before we have recovered from the last one.”


Global setback

There is a massive setback for global recovery.

On Tuesday, the IMF was forced to reduce global growth forecast from 6.1 per cent to 3.6 per cent for both this year and 2023 — with downgrades for as many as 143 countries.

This is caused largely by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the shock waves it has sent around the world.

Ms Georgieva said; “Another consequence is accelerating inflation, which has become a clear and present danger for many countries—rising food and fuel prices are straining the budgets of ordinary families to the breaking point.”

She said financial tightening, high debt, and frequent, wide-ranging lockdowns in China is causing further bottlenecks in global supply chains adding that these among others are the additional dark clouds weighing on the global economy.

“I see one more hanging overhead: the risk of geopolitical fragmentation, which could jeopardise the development gains of the last 75 years and leave us unable to address other urgent global challenges, such as climate change.