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From the article:
"Argentina’s massive debt with the Fund, which should start to be repaid next year, stems from a failed attempt to bail out the government of Fernandez’s predecessor, Mauricio Macri, in 2018. The program has effectively been on hold since Fernandez’s unexpected landslide victory in a primary election in August last year.
A new program, which will add to the more than 20 IMF agreements the country had since 1958, already faces major political and economic risks, according to Liliana Rojas-Suarez, a director at the Washington-based Center for Global Development and former senior IMF official.
'The hard work is coming now and that requires political will, and I don’t see it,' Rojas-Suarez said. 'I’m not very optimistic about having a new IMF program in the near future.'"
From the article:
"In May 2018, with leaders in the White House and Congress who had never dealt with a major epidemic, Inglesby and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University hosted an exercise in Washington DC called Clade X. It featured a respiratory virus that was engineered in a laboratory. One early lesson of this simulation was that travel bans didn’t stop the virus from gaining ground. Infections spread rapidly below the radar because half of the people infected showed few or no symptoms. Medical supplies ran short, and hospitals were overwhelmed. Federal and state leaders issued conflicting messages. More than 20 months passed before a vaccine was available.
Six top-line recommendations emerged from the exercise. These included reducing vaccine production time, and creating a 'robust, highly capable national public health system that can manage the challenges of pandemic response'. Some argue, however, that this emphasis was misplaced in subsequent discussions. Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington DC, says that members of the biosecurity community have often focused on vaccines, rather than on the complex, systemic deficiencies in the public-health system. They often overlooked the 'middle game' in outbreak responses.
'We have a strong end game once there is a vaccine, and we have a strong opening game if countries contain an outbreak when case numbers are low,' he says. But insufficient attention is devoted to harnessing and coordinating enough health workers and biomedical resources to efficiently test people, treat them, find their contacts and quarantine them. This is precisely the conundrum that the United States finds itself in right now."
From the article:
"'Having every school reopened with normal operations simultaneously would be an extreme risk,' says Jeremy Konyndyk, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development.
While studies show children may not contract severe Covid-19 cases as easily as adults, schools are an ecosystem in which adult teachers, staff, bus drivers and administrators are needed. Even lower levels of coronavirus spread could mean that the U.S. has to deal with an overwhelming number of infected classrooms all at the same time, says Konyndyk, who is the former director for foreign disaster assistance under the Obama administration and who oversaw the U.S. government’s Ebola operations in West Africa."
From the article:
"Rich countries have more flexibility in being able to invest and ramp up production for themselves. But the vaccine supply chain is complex. Components come from all over the world, and different countries may specialize in a particular stage of vaccine production. The politicization of vaccines jeopardizes the efficient logistics, too.
'A vaccine is going to trigger people looking for ways through which they can get an upper hand in negotiating power to get supplies of a vaccine, especially countries which don’t have their own candidate or their own manufacturing capacity,' Prashant Yadav, an expert on health care systems and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, told me.
Yadav said this can create a world where, unless a country has something to offer, they’re more vulnerable when it comes to securing supplies for their own populations. During the Covid-19 emergency, where every government wants and needs to try to protect their population, Yadav said this risks fragmentation of the supply chains for vaccines and medical supplies more broadly. '[It’s] almost my nightmare scenario,”'Yadav said."
From the article:
"Various economic predictions, including the government’s own figures and the International Monetary Fund, predict the U.K.’s gross domestic product to contract by around 10% in 2020.
'At £2.9bn, cuts would bring aid spending below 0.7 percent if current economic forecasts are right,' explained Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, in an email. 'The exercise appears designed to ensure UK aid spending doesn't rise a penny above 0.7 percent of GNI even if the economy contracts more than expected over the year as a whole.'
Kenny described the decision as “another assault on UK global leadership in development cooperation.'"
From the article:
"Yet if one looks beyond the indicators flagged by the imf last year, the picture is still alarming. Foreign direct investment has almost halved since 2013. Exports and imports both fell between 2012 and 2018. Imports of machinery and construction equipment fell between 2015 and 2018, despite claims of booming construction. 'The growth numbers are out of line with almost everything else we are seeing out of Tanzania,' says Justin Sandefur of the Centre for Global Development, a think-tank.
Tanzania’s recent growth ought to be evident in ordinary lives. When incomes rise, people buy more beer; yet revenue for Tanzania’s biggest brewer fell in 2018 and 2019. According to door-to-door surveys done in 2012 and 2018, the share of Tanzanians who are extremely poor, 49%, did not change at all over the period. That is almost unheard of. And because Tanzania’s population is growing, the number of extremely poor people has increased by about 4.5m."
From the article:
"At the international level, the next administration should work to defend and upgrade multilateral institutions that have come under strain. The European Union has just agreed to a large bailout package to help member states get back on their feet, but amid the pandemic, Brexit, and democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, the bloc’s future is still uncertain. Meanwhile, UN agencies face the herculean task of reducing poverty, supporting human rights, and helping record numbers of migrants and refugees in the age of COVID-19. There are genuine substantive disagreements and problems inside many of these institutions, but they all suffer from the same central challenge: no international body can work properly when the world’s most powerful countries do not play their part by investing the time of senior officials and the resources that effective reforms require. The World Health Organization, for instance, has come under serious criticism for its indecisive leadership during the pandemic, but as Jeremy Konyndyk, a former senior USAID official, has written, the WHO ultimately has to defer to its member states, who have saddled it with 'an expansive global mandate, but an annual budget of $2.2 billion, smaller than many major U.S. hospitals.'"
Contact: Eva Grant Center for Global Development email@example.com +1.202.416.4027
Full Statement Here
Video of Findings and Discussion Here
WASHINGTON (July 22, 2020) -- The Latin American Committee on Macroeconomic and Financial Issues (CLAAF by its Spanish acronym) met virtually today to discuss ‘The COVID-19 Attack on Latin America: Proposals for an Effective Response.’ The CLAAF explored COVID-19's macro-level effect on the region, as well as detailed domestic and international responses, in a newly-released policy statement.
The CLAAF is a group of prominent economists and academics who have served as government ministers, central bank governors, and/or senior officials at multilateral institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Twice a year, the group convenes to analyze major national or regional macroeconomic issues and then release a series of policy recommendations to change course and advance greater economic and financial stabilization.
The World Health Organization declared Latin America as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, as CLAAF stated in December 2019, Latin America has substantial structural vulnerabilities. “Protecting Latin America form the worst consequences of COVID-19 requires concerted effort,” the group states, and to protect against unprecedented shock to the Latin American economy from COVID-19, the CLAAF believes that, among other things:
Latin America requires the implementation of a massive policy response on the public health front, in formal as well as informal labor markets, and in income transfers to support basic consumption for an increasingly large number of families that are living day-to-day;
That the Covid-19 response will require, on average, a public sector effort equivalent to 10 percent of the region’s GDP
that international organizations must step up and play a significant role in the response to the pandemic;
that, subject to specific conditionality, the IMF should make available to the region resources in the range of USD 200-300 billion in order to finance a portion of the required response; and
that governments should consider establishing long-term loan and guarantee programs as well as recapitalization funds to minimize the bankruptcy of fundamentally viable firms.
That new legal instruments, such as corporate reorganization frameworks will be necessary to facilitate burden-sharing among private stakeholders (shareholders, creditors, management, labor)
“Our committee believes in a variety of detailed policy responses to defend against shock" said Liliana Rojas-Suarez, president of the CLAAF and director of the Latin American Initiative at the Center for Global Development. "The combination of well-designed governments’ interventions and the support of international financial institutions is essential to effectively deal with the threats of unduly large losses of jobs and firms bankruptcies in Latin America caused by COVID-19.”
CLAAF members participating in the July 2020 session:
Laura Alfaro, Warren Albert Professor, Harvard Business School; Former Minister of National Planning and Economic Policy, Costa Rica.
Guillermo Calvo, Professor, Columbia University; Former Chief Economist, Inter-American Development Bank.
Augusto De La Torre, Former Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, The World Bank; Former Governor, Central Bank of Ecuador.
José De Gregorio, Professor of Economics, University of Chile; Former Governor of the Central Bank of Chile.
Roque Fernandez, Economics Professor, UCEMA University; Former Minister of Finance, Argentina.
Pablo Guidotti, Professor of the Government School, University of Torcuato di Tella. Former Vice Minister of Economy, Argentina.
Paulo Leme, Executive in Residence Professor of Finance, University of Miami. Former CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs do Brasil Banco Multiplo S.A..
Enrique Mendoza, Presidential Professor of Economics and Director of the Penn Institute for Economic Research at the University of Pennsylvania.
Liliana Rojas-Suarez, President, CLAAF; Director of the Latin American Initiative and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development; former Chief Economist for Latin America, Deutsche Bank.
Andrés Velasco, Dean of the School of Public Policy, London School of Economics, UK; Former Finance Minister of Chile.