IMF, World Bank to help members with Covid-19

By Eudore R. Chand

Image Source WHO|Man Yi

WASHINGTON 3 March 2020: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and President of World Bank Group David R. Malpass, on Monday said they stand ready to help member countries address the human tragedy and economic challenge posed by the coronavirus, Covid-19.

”We are engaged actively with international institutions and country authorities, with special attention to poor countries where health systems are the weakest and people are most vulnerable,” they said in a joint statement carried by Wam.

”We will use our available instruments to the fullest extent possible, including emergency financing, policy advice, and technical assistance. In particular, we have rapid financing facilities that, collectively, can help countries respond to a wide range of needs. The strengthening of country health surveillance and response systems is crucial to contain the spread of this and any future outbreaks.

”International cooperation is essential to deal with the health and economic impact of the Covid-19 virus. The IMF and the World Bank Group are fully committed to providing the support that people in our member countries expect from us,” the statement concluded.

Coronavirus claims its first UN casualty

UNITED NATIONS: The deadly coronavirus COVID-19, which is spreading across China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Italy, the Philippines – along with new cases in Asia, Western Europe and the Middle East – has claimed one of its first casualties at the United Nations, IPS reported.

The annual inter-governmental meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women, CSW, due to take place March 9-20, is being described as dead on arrival, DOA.

But it is still likely to take place as scheduled minus the participation of over 5,000 to 6,000 delegates from overseas.

The 11-day meeting, the largest single gathering of women delegates from 193 countries, is being significantly downgraded because of the threat of COVID-19.

The United States, meanwhile, has postponed its own summit of world leaders of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations, ASEAN, due to take place in Las Vegas March 14.