IMF creates advisory panel on pandemic

Group will provide input on policy challenges including economic impact of coronavirus

Reuters April 12, 2020

WASHINGTON: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Friday announced the creation of an external advisory group to provide input on policy challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic and its massive economic impact.

The diverse group includes former and current government officials, private-sector experts and academics, ranging from Tharman Shanmugaratnam, senior minister of Singapore and chairman of its monetary authority and Santander Group Executive Chair Ana Botin to Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, chair of ActionAid International, an international NGO. The panel will meet with Georgieva and other senior IMF officials several times a year.

The committee is being formed as Georgieva has pushed the Group of 20 finance ministers and leaders to take more forceful actions to deal with a pandemic crisis that she said this week would unleash the deepest recession since the 1930s Great Depression. Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a non-profit alliance of religious, development and advocacy groups, said Georgieva’s creation of the panel reflected her desire to “tear down barriers” and spark more dialogue.

“This shows a different way of doing business,” he said. “It’s significant that someone from civil society is able to offer input.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2020.

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