IMF: Middle East and Asian Countries Ask for Help


CoronavirusAccording to the International Monetary Fund, several countries from the Middle East and Central Asia have asked for financial aid due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The director of the Middle East and Central Asia department at the International Monetary Fund, Jihad Azour highlighted that economic policy responses should be focused on preventing that the effects of the outbreak end up becoming into an economic recession.

“Economic policy responses should be directed at preventing the pandemic — a temporary health crisis — from developing into a protracted economic recession with lasting welfare losses to the society through increased unemployment and bankruptcies,” said Azour.

Azour said that the global central banks should be ready to provide liquidity to support lending to small and middle-sized enterprises, while governments should implement fiscal measures to aid the economy.

According to the director, the first country whose aid petition will be considered this week is the Kyrgyz Republic.

When speaking about the coronavirus outbreak, Azour said that it has become the largest near-term challenge to the region.

“With three-quarters of the countries reporting at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 and some facing a major outbreak, the coronavirus pandemic has become the largest near-term challenge to the region,” he explained.

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Germany is Returning to Austerity After the Coronavirus Crisis

Germany's economy minister, Peter Altmaier told a broadcaster on Monday that Germany will come back to austerity after the coronavirus crisis is over.

“Once the crisis is over - and we hope this will be the case in several months - we will return to austerity policy and, as soon as possible, to the balanced budget policy,” he said, “The conditions are only so favorable because everyone believes in us and trusts that we will only do this as long as is necessary,” he added.

The German government approved on Monday a 750 billion euros aid package to face the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak. In order to cover the expenses, the government is aiming to take on new debt for the first time in seven years.

At the moment, there are more than 27,400 infected individuals in Germany, and 114 people have died because of the virus.

By 8:29 GMT the Euro went up by 0.99 percent against the US dollar, hitting the 1.0827 level. Conversely it gained 0.21 percent against the Swiss Franc, hitting the 1.0577 and it advanced 0.58 percent against the Japanese Yen, at 119.92.

Ibeth contributes daily market commentary in both English and Spanish (both of which she speaks fluently) and she also manages the DailyForex mobile app to ensure that traders around the world are getting important market updates in real time.