World Bank, IMF set up advisory group on sustainable, inclusive growth

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) formed a High-Level Advisory Group (HLAG) to advise on sustainable recovery strategies for the global economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Mari Pangestu, the World Bank’s Managing Director for Development Policy, Ms. Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, the Strategy Director for the IMF’s Policy and Review Department, and Dr. Lord Nicholas Stern, Head of Economics and Government at the London School of Economics, will lead the group.

Its aim is “to help secure a strong recovery and set a path for green, resilient, and inclusive development over the coming decade”, the two Washington-based institutions said in a joint statement.

Mr. David Malpass, World Bank Group President remarked that “the poor and most vulnerable have been hit hardest by COVID-19, as well as climate change and other challenges.”

The group will offer suggestions for fostering sustainable and inclusive growth and reducing poverty at both the national and global levels, Mr. Malpass added.

Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director IMF pointed out that “the world faces two huge crises the pandemic and the climate emergency that demand radical and coordinated action. Through policy analysis and practical proposals, the HLAG will play a key role in this effort.”

The COVID-19 outbreak sparked the world’s deepest recession since the Great Depression. The global economy shrank by 3.3 percent last year but is expected to grow by 6 percent this year as a result of the rapid vaccine rollout and the injection of about $25 trillion in fiscal and monetary stimulus by governments and central banks last year.

The HLAG, whose members include the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Chief Economist Ms. Laurence Boone, the Director of the IMF’s Research Department Ms. Gita Gopinath, and the Centre for Sustainable Development’s Senior Fellow Mr. Amar Bhattacharya, among others, will set out proposals to go before the next G20 Summit in Rome in October and the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow in November.

According to the statement, it has also been tasked with deepening “the analyses and formulation of actions for sustained transformation in 2022.”

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the World Bank Group has committed over $125 billion to assist more than 100 nations to battle the health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic.

The IMF has provided about $109 billion to 84 countries, 52 of which are classified as “low income.”

Related: World Bank forecasts 5.6% global growth in 2021; Fastest since 1973