WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic will last longer than expected and it will take years for some countries to return to growth, IMF First Deputy Governor Jeffrey Okamoto said Wednesday.
Since the beginning of the spread of COVID-19, the fund has allocated 79 countries, including 20 countries in Latin America, about $ 90 billion.
The foundation also continues to work with countries on how to contain the pandemic and mitigate its economic impact, Okamoto said during an online event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“We're trying to maintain our financial firepower,” said Okamoto. “We're talking about … a return to growth that will take several years, and many countries along the way are likely to need help.”
Okamoto told attendees that Fund officials are negotiating with major G20 countries to extend the temporary suspension of official bilateral debt service payments by low-income countries, and how to increase private sector participation.
The G20 initiative, approved in April, expires at the end of the year, but experts and government officials in many countries have supported its extension to 2021, and a decision is expected to be made in the coming weeks and months.
This question could be raised when the G7 finance ministers meet online on Friday.
(Andrea Shalal, translated by Olga Devyatiarova. Editor Anna Kozlova)