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More than 90 countries plead for financial lifelines as coronavirus wreaks economic havoc across the globe (Washington Post)

May 4, 2020

From the article:

“…As global financial leaders prepare for this week’s meetings, the initial focus of the debt standstill talks is a 76-nation group of the world’s poorest countries. The IMF and World Bank want rich country governments to agree to allow countries such as Rwanda, Cambodia and Haiti to delay their debt payments.

‘Going into this crisis, the low-income countries had high levels of debt. … Now this is likely to push a number of them over the edge,’ said Nancy Lee, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development.

By rescheduling debt service payments due by the end of 2022, almost $33 billion could be made available for these countries to devote to battling the pandemic. If private bondholders and banks also were brought on board, the total would swell by an additional $18 billion, according to Lee.

At the IMF, Georgieva is the rare economist who can boast of having studied at both the Karl Marx Higher Institute of Economics and MIT. As the pandemic gathered steam, she overhauled the fund’s sometimes lethargic procedures and ordered a halt to nonessential activities.

‘Everything that is not critical for fighting this crisis is set aside,” she said. “ … We have to eradicate [the pandemic] everywhere for the world to breathe a sigh of relief…’”

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Senior Policy Fellow