2020 IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings : Written Statement to the Development Committee
The spread of the coronavirus has aggravated and multiplied issues of fragility across countries and regions. It has contributed to mass unemployment, increased poverty, heightened inequalities, political unrest and rising gender-based violence.
Corruption is a threat to inclusive growth, widens economic and social inequalities, impedes the effective delivery of public services and undermines the values of democracy. No one country nor sector is immune to corruption. It is by definition the way to perpetuate a privileged position, and it comes at the expense of those already greatly disadvantaged and most vulnerable.
Throughout this crisis, I have stressed that the choice between health and the economy is a false dilemma. Another false dilemma is the choice between a vigorous recovery and sustainability. We must pursue both objectives together.
Just two weeks ago, the OECD updated its Economic Outlook, and the picture is bleak. Our forecasts indicate that this year we will face the biggest recession in the OECD's 60-year history. Given the uncertainty surrounding the development of COVID-19, we present two scenarios in the Outlook.
The format of today’s discussion bears witness to the rapid changes imposed upon us by the global coronavirus pandemic. In fact, Mr President: it was only six months ago that I had the privilege of welcoming you to Paris in person for a meeting of the OECD Council.
2020 IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings: Written Statement to the Development Committee
This crisis comes against the backdrop of strained global trade, stagnating global growth, protracted conflict and climate-related crises – not to mention the constrained fiscal space and existing challenges in the health and social structures in many countries.
Today, we are only ten years away from delivering on the SDGs, including the complete eradication of extreme poverty. This means lifting just under 10% of the world’s population – around 700 million people – out of extreme poverty over the next decade.
Advancing access to clean energy across Africa is essential. Over 645 million people still lack access to electricity across the continent, and around 40% of formal businesses report a lack of access to electricity as a major constraint.