This, according to the fund, is due to the outbreak of the pandemic coronavirus (COVID 19) across the world.

The fund, however, expects a recovery in 2021, noting that “To get there, it is paramount to prioritize containment and strengthen health systems—everywhere. The economic impact is and will be severe, but the faster the virus stops, the quicker and stronger the recovery will be.”

IMF contained this in a statement issued after a conference call of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.

The Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva said, “The human costs of the Coronavirus pandemic are already immeasurable and all countries need to work together to protect people and limit the economic damage.”

She pointed out that “We strongly support the extraordinary fiscal actions many countries have already taken to boost health systems and protect affected workers and firms. We welcome the moves of major central banks to ease monetary policy. These bold efforts are not only in the interest of each country but of the global economy as a whole. Even more will be needed, especially on the fiscal front.”

Continuing, she said, “advanced economies are generally in a better position to respond to the crisis, but many emerging markets and low-income countries face significant challenges.”

On the way forward, Mrs Georgieva said the IMF is concentrating bilateral and multilateral surveillance on this crisis and policy actions to temper its impact.

Additionally, the Fund will massively step up emergency finance, adding “nearly 80 countries are requesting our help—and we are working closely with the other international financial institutions to provide a strong coordinated response.”

“These are extraordinary circumstances. Many countries are already taking unprecedented measures. We at the IMF, working with all our member countries, will do the same. Let us stand together through this emergency to support all people across the world,” she concluded.