The G-20 countries on Thursday conducted an emergency session to decide the measures to be taken considering the global impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak, especially on the economic front. In this backdrop, the G-20 countries on this day pledged to inject over $5 trillion into the global economy to counteract the social, economic, and financial impact of the virus.
“We are injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic,” a statement issued after the G-20 leaders’ virtual summit said.
“Human beings should be at the centre”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the G-20 virtual summit, highlighting that international organisations like the World Health Organisation (WHO) need to be strengthened and reformed. WHO initially did not have the mandate to deal with a pandemic of this sort, which is why empowering the body is necessary, be it in terms of its capacity of early warning or development of effective vaccines, or capacity building.
Modi said that 90% of the COVID cases and 88% of the virus deaths have been from G20 countries.
The leaders said that bold and large-scale fiscal support measures will be conducted by the countries and that collective G20 action will amplify its impact, ensure coherence, and harness synergies.
The leaders also asked their finance ministers and central bank governors to coordinate on a regular basis to develop a G20 action plan in response to COVID-19 and work closely with international organizations to swiftly deliver the appropriate international financial assistance.
The statement welcomed the steps taken by the IMF and the WBG (world bank group) to support countries in need using all instruments to the fullest extent as part of a coordinated global response and asked them to regularly update the G20 on the impact of the pandemic, their response and policy recommendations.
“We will continue to address the risks of debt vulnerabilities in low-income countries due to the pandemic. We also ask the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to monitor the pandemic’s impact on employment.”
Saudi Arabia, which currently holds the G20 presidency, chaired the leaders’ extraordinary virtual summit.
(With ANI inputs)