Urgent steps are needed to arrest the rising human toll and economic strain from the COVID-19 pandemic that are exacerbating already-diverging recoveries. Pandemic policy is also economic policy as there is no durable end to the economic crisis without an end to the health crisis. Building on existing initiatives, this paper proposes pragmatic actions at the national and multilateral level to expeditiously defeat the pandemic. The proposal targets: (1) vaccinating at least 40 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021 and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022, (2) tracking and insuring against downside risks, and (3) ensuring widespread testing and tracing, maintaining adequate stocks of therapeutics, and enforcing public health measures in places where vaccine coverage is low. The benefits of such measures at about $9 trillion far outweigh the costs which are estimated to be around $50 billion—of which $35 billion should be paid by grants from donors and the residual by national governments potentially with the support of concessional financing from bilateral and multilateral agencies. The grant funding gap identified by the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator amounts to about $22 billion, which the G20 recognizes as important to address. This leaves an estimated $13 billion in additional grant contributions needed to finance our proposal. Importantly, the strategy requires global cooperation to secure upfront financing, upfront vaccine donations, and at-risk investment to insure against downside risks for the world.
Sub-Saharan Africa is still contending with an unprecedented health and economic crisis. In the months since the October 2020 Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, the region has confronted a second coronavirus (COVID-19) wave that swiftly outpaced the scale and speed of the first. While this episode has eased for now, many countries are bracing for further waves, particularly as access to vaccines remains scant.
Guinea Bissau is a fragile state with a long history of political instability. Poverty is high with about 67 percent of the population living below the poverty line of US$1.90 per day. The economy relies heavily on the production and exports of unprocessed cashew nuts, making most households highly vulnerable to cashew nut price shocks and climate change risks.
A technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) visited Guinea-Bissau during February 3 to 7, 2020. The mission was conducted in Bissau at the request of the National Directorate for Guinea-Bissau of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO-DNGB). The mission assisted in improving the quality of ESS. This was the fourth and final mission under the JSA-AFR project for improving ESS in 17 francophone countries of Central and West Africa, financed by the government of Japan and administered by the IMF.
The economic outlook has substantially deteriorated since the Second Review, driven by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global economic activity and oil prices. The adverse impact of the shock on the Angolan economy, which is highly dependent on oil (95 percent of exports, two-thirds of government revenue), adds to the hardship from five consecutive years of recession. Rapid exchange rate depreciation and the decline in oil prices have pushed the public debt-to-GDP ratio to a very high level. However, continued fiscal retrenchment, prudent debt management, and debt reprofiling are expected to improve debt dynamics progressively.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened.
Sub-Saharan Africa is struggling to navigate an unprecedented health and economic crisis—one that, in just a few months, has jeopardized decades of hard-won development gains and upended the lives and livelihoods of millions.
The fiscal challenges of Brazil’s states and municipalities can have a significant impact on the economy and the provision of core public services. The subnational governments (SNGs) account for a large share of public expenditures, including public investment. As such, their fiscal problems can hamper the economic recovery and the public finances of the federal government. In recent years, many states and municipalities have been struggling with high debt or severe liquidity pressures. Some have already defaulted on part of their debt and are running payment arrears (wages and suppliers). The federal government has already provided a substantial package of financial support through debt service relief.