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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

effects from the crisis and the potential that travelers could avoid MCD countries if the region lags the rest of the world in controlling COVID-19 and reopening to air travel. Further Strains on Corporate Balance Sheets Firms in the region entered the pandemic with relatively weak fundamentals. Compared with preexisting conditions in other crises, firms had, on average, lower profitability, liquidity, and revenue growth before the current crisis ( Figure 2.5 ). 3 Compared with other regions, MCD firms entered the pandemic with higher leverage and lower

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.


Countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region and those in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with swift and stringent measures to mitigate its spread and impact but continue to face an uncertain and difficult environment. Oil exporters were particularly hard hit by a “double-whammy” of the economic impact of lockdowns and the resulting sharp decline in oil demand and prices. Containing the health crisis, cushioning income losses, and expanding social spending remain immediate priorities. However, governments must also begin to lay the groundwork for recovery and rebuilding stronger, including by addressing legacies from the crisis and strengthening inclusion.