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Swift action can help developing countries limit economic harm of coronavirus

by CEYLA PAZARBASIOGLU | Source: World Bank Blogs

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has already exacted a high cost in human life and has been recognized for what it is—a global health emergency. As the virus spreads around the globe, the question now is whether lives can be protected and economic harm can be contained.

We know from history that when the global economy faces a common threat, quick, coordinated, and decisive action makes all the difference. That is beginning to happen. Several countries have announced stimulus programs, many have cut interest rates, and both the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund have unveiled massive financial-support packages to help countries overcome the health crisis and limit the economic damage.

But what comes next will be crucial: in the coming weeks, all countries—even those without a single coronavirus patient—will need to take concrete policy steps to protect their people and limit harm to their economies.

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