Whatever it takes? The global financial safety net, Covid-19, and developing countries

Stubbs, Thomas; Kring, William; Laskaridis, Christina; Kentikelenis, Alexander and Gallagher, Kevin (2021). Whatever it takes? The global financial safety net, Covid-19, and developing countries. World Development, 137, article no. 105171.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105171

Abstract

Multilateral financial institutions have pledged to do whatever it takes to enable emerging market and developing countries to fill a $2.5 trillion financing gap to combat Covid-19 and subsequent economic crises. In this article, we present new datasets to track the extent to which multilateral financial institutions are meeting these goals, and conduct a preliminary assessment of progress to date. We find that the International Monetary Fund and the principal regional financial arrangements have made relatively trivial amounts of new financing available and have been slow to disburse the financing at their disposal. As of July 31, 2020, these institutions had committed $89.56 billion in loans and $550 million in currency swaps, totalling $90.11 billion—just 12.6% of their current capacity. The new datasets allow scholars, policymakers, and civil society to continue to track these trends, and eventually examine the impact of such financing on health and development outcomes.

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