Poorest countries face lost decade due to Covid-19, says IMF

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Economists call for urgent help to prevent progress in poverty reduction being wiped out

The shock waves from Covid-19 will lead to a lost decade for the world’s poorest countries unless they get concerted and urgent help, the International Monetary Fund has said.

The Washington-based IMF said low-income developing countries (LIDCs) entered the pandemic in a vulnerable position and faced the prospect of their progress in poverty reduction over the past seven to 10 years being wiped out.

Guaranteeing essential health supplies, including cures and vaccines when they are discovered.

Protecting critical supply chains, especially for food and medicines.

Avoiding protectionism.

Ensuring developing economies can finance critical spending through grants and concessional financing.

Ensuring LIDCs’ international liquidity needs are met, which requires institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank to be resourced adequately.

Reprofiling and restructuring debt to restore sustainability where needed, which, in many cases, could require more generous relief than offered by the G20 in the spring.

Keeping sight of the UN’s 2030 sustainable development goals, including by reassessing needs when the crisis subsides.

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