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IMF warns of social unrest amid coronavirus pandemic


A sign is seen outside the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the IMF and World Bank hold their Spring Meetings virtually due to the outbreak of COVID-19, known as coronavirus, in Washington, DC, April 15, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned about a new wave of social unrest around the world as a result of the economic stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gita Gopinath, the IMFís chief economist, said in a report on Wednesday that economic stress caused by the pandemic may trigger an outbreak of protests, urging governments to take preventative measures.

She warned that countries where policy actions aimed at controlling the virus are perceived as insufficient or unfair are particularly vulnerable.

The IMFís chief economist urged the international community to play a supportive role for poor countries through debt relief and concessional financing.

Gopinath further warned that the outcomes could be the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

"This crisis is like no other," Gopinath wrote in the reportís foreword. "Like in a war or a political crisis, there is continued severe uncertainty about the duration and intensity of the shock."

The IMF official said todayís "Great Lockdown" presented a ‘grim realityí for policymakers, who faced "severe uncertainty about the duration and intensity of the shock."

"A partial recovery is projected for 2021," said Gopinath. "But the level of GDP will remain below the pre-virus trend, with considerable uncertainty about the strength of the rebound."

"Much worse growth outcomes are possible and maybe even likely."

She further said the crisis could knock $9 trillion (£7.2 trillion) off the global GDP over the next two years.

Efforts to halt the spread of the virus have shut down large swaths of the global economy. Unemployment numbers have also been rising as a result.

The COVID-19 is affecting 210 countries and territories around the world.

The virus has reached all continents except Antarctica and officially killed more than 120,000 people, including more than 26,000 in the United States.

Worldwide confirmed coronavirus cases passed two million on Wednesday, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University, though experts caution that the virus has in all likelihood infected far more people.

 

SOURCE: PRESS TV

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/15948


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