“The work is not finished yet.” The United States on Thursday urged major economies to do more to support global growth, noting its willingness to be at the center of international aid to overcome the Covid-19 crisis.
“I urge large economies not only to avoid withdrawing support too soon, but also to contribute significant amounts of new fiscal aid to ensure a strong recovery,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement to the United States. IMF.
The International Monetary Fund presented this week, in the framework of its spring meetings with the World Bank, a more optimistic economic outlook for 2021 and 2022 thanks to the robust economic rebound in the United States.
The world’s largest economy adopted a new $ 1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus package in late March. And the Joe Biden administration is now seeking Congress to pass a vast infrastructure investment plan of more than $ 2 trillion over eight years in the coming months.
The IMF this week celebrated the rapid responses of several countries to the crisis stemming from the pandemic, including $ 16 trillion in public funds, which prevented the worst peacetime recession in a century from being three times worse.
But the recovery is uneven across countries, and delays in vaccination against COVID threaten to widen the gap between rich and poor. Emerging countries lag behind, as are Latin American economies, and even Europe.
– Vaccinate the world –
Yellen was emphatic about the urgency of ending the covid-19 pandemic.
“The most important priority is to end the health crisis, which is a prerequisite for a strong economic recovery,” he said in his statement to the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the IMF (IMFC), the policymaking body of the multilateral body. .
The Secretary of the Treasury highlighted “substantial progress” in immunization in the United States, with an average of more than three million daily injections. And he promised to work on finding “global solutions” to help vaccinate the rest of the world.
The Biden government has already committed $ 4 billion to Covax, the mechanism promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) to guarantee equitable global access to anticovid vaccines.
“The United States will continue to work with its partners to increase vaccine supply, explore the exchange of surplus vaccines, and ensure that funding does not become an obstacle to global vaccination,” Yellen promised.
– More reserves for the IMF –
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva joined the call from the United States, the largest contributor among the Fund’s 190 members, stressing the need for “stronger international cooperation.”
Continued support is necessary to “mitigate and heal the economic scars,” Georgieva told a news conference after the IMFC meeting via videoconference.
“We want to make sure that everyone has a fair chance to have a better life,” he said.
Georgieva welcomed the IMFC’s expressed support for increasing the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR), the international reserve asset created in 1969 against which members can borrow to supplement their own reserves, by some $ 650 billion.
“This will provide a substantial liquidity boost to all our members, especially the most vulnerable,” said the head of the IMF.
– “Opportunity” for sustainable development –
OECD Secretary General José Ángel Gurría, who attended the IMFC meeting as an observer, also called in his statement to avoid a “premature and abrupt withdrawal of fiscal support.”
And he stressed that the financial efforts made in the world are an “opportunity to accelerate the transition to a less carbon-emitting economy and limit the threat posed by climate change.”
Georgieva also welcomed the willingness shown this week to tackle the problems stemming from global warming, which have an impact on “macroeconomic and financial stability.”
He assured that, together with the World Bank, the IMF is working to find solutions that help the poorest countries to turn towards sustainable development.
Both institutions are evaluating linking debt relief with investments to address climate change and reduce polluting emissions into the atmosphere.