The IMF will remain committed to help members secure a durable exit from the COVID-19 crisis, minimize its long-term scarring, and build forward a stronger, fairer, and greener economy spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters in Washington, DC Thursday (January 14).
“The IMF has responded in an unprecedented way, both in scope and scale of the support to our member countries, including nearly 103 billion dollars in emergency financing to 83 countries at this point. And again, we plan to maintain this effort in the period ahead,” said Rice, Director of the Communications Department at the IMF.
Rice expressed his concern over how difficult and uncertain the recovery will be. At his first news conference of 2021 he said the global economy is at a “critical juncture.”
Even though countries have started to climb back from the depths of the crisis, the resurgence of infections and the new virus variants in many economies still show that the path forward will be uneven and filled with hurdles.
“What we're basically seeing is, this race in many ways a race between the virus and the vaccine and diverging recoveries, depending on just how quickly countries can gain access to the to the vaccine and of course, on the on the dependent also on the strength of their policy response. So, the big developments have been access to the vaccine, additional substantial stimulus in some countries, some major countries. I mentioned Japan, also the United States, which you asked about, and overall, the Q3 sorry, the data in the third quarter in 2020 was better than had been expected, but there remains a great deal of uncertainty, I think uncertainty is the word to emphasize and the prospect of a still very difficult period ahead with infection surges and people continuing to suffer. So certainly, no time to let up on our efforts,” said Rice.
The IMF will release details and outline risks in its latest global growth forecast – the World Economic Outlook Update - on January 26th Rice announced.
On a more country-specific note, Rice announced that the IMF’s virtual discussions with the Argentine authorities will continue in the period ahead after a short break in the dialog over the end of the year holiday period.
“We share the view with the authorities that tackling Argentina's challenges will require a carefully balanced set of policies to foster stability, restore confidence, protect the most vulnerable people in Argentina, and set the basis for sustainable and inclusive growth,” said Rice.
To watch the full event, click here