COVID-19 Pandemic is intensifying poverty and disparities, global co-operation required for fast recovery: IMF

“International solid teamwork and quick action are needed to facilitate universal vaccination to derive the pandemic range, narrow divergences, and promote an inclusive recovery everywhere,” it said in the communique.

The rise of new COVID-19 variants has heightened scepticism, feigning downside risks to the green shoots of the global economy, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday while lamenting that the crisis is increasing poverty and disparities.

“The emergence of virus variants has increased uncertainty, and risks to the recovery are tilted to the downside,” IMF said in a communique after the summing-up of its annual meeting, attended among others by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.


“The crisis is exacerbating poverty and inequalities, while climate change and other shared challenges are becoming more pressing and require our urgent attention,” it added. International solid teamwork and quick action are needed to facilitate universal vaccination to derive the pandemic range, narrow divergences, and promote an inclusive recovery everywhere, it said in the communique.

The IMF also agreed to consider measures to increase the stocks of vaccines, fundamental medical goods and information to developing nations and exclude relevant supply and funding restrictions to assist them in reaching the global aims of vaccinating at least 40 per cent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and 70 per cent by mid-2022.

Later, in a press conference, Magdalena Andersson, Minister for Finance of Sweden who chaired the meeting, said the pandemic had worsened poverty and disparities globally.

The meeting asked for effective international collaboration and prompt response to gain universal vaccination, she said.

Meanwhile, climate change is becoming more constraining, and it needs our primary care. According to Andersson, a solid commitment is made to accelerate the climate action in line with the Paris Agreement. She said there is an even greater sense of importance regarding climate change in response to a question.

The communique remarked that they look forward to the results of COP26 and perform strongly further to stimulate climate action in line with the Paris Agreement, taking into account country-specific factors.

“In this context, we will utilize policy mixes based on all effective tools, ranging from the fiscal, market, and regulatory actions, including efficient policy instruments, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while protecting the most vulnerable,” the IMF said.

Cooperating to unfasten the potential of the digital economy, aiming at profits reaching all countries while maintaining associated risks, will be done. Implementation of a more international solid tax architecture is said as the global financial leaders reaffirmed their duties on exchange rates, excessive global imbalances and governance, and their statement on the rules-based trading system, as made in April 2021.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters that without the organised global acknowledgement of policymakers, the world would not be on the path to healing.

“And this is the spirit we now need more than ever before to confront multiple challenges ahead, from inflation to debt to economic divergence and the criticality at the same time when we wrestle with short-term challenges to strive to build a more resilient, more sustainable world economy that benefits all,” she said.