The World Bank Group says the time has come for governments across the globe to start putting structures in place to make their economies more resilient as the countries begin to ease the lockdowns imposed to curtail the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has so far impacted livelihoods, resulting in millions of infections and death across the globe.
In the analytical chapters of its Global Economic Prospects report released on Tuesday, the bank lamented that the COVID-19 inspired economic shutdowns are dealing a severe blow to the global economy, especially the poorer countries.
To ensure future economies become more resilient, the World Bank said, many countries “will need systems that can build and retain more human and physical capital during the recovery – using policies that reflect and encourage the post-pandemic need for new types of jobs, businesses and governance systems.”
More importantly, according to David Malpass, the World Bank Group President in the statement, the need to make the right policy choices today cannot be over-emphasised– especially in the area of “greater debt transparency to invite new investment, faster advances in digital connectivity, and a major expansion of cash safety nets for the poor.
These, he believes, “will help limit the damage and build a stronger recovery.”
While noting that “financing and building of productive infrastructure are among the hardest-to-solve development challenges in the post-pandemic recovery,” Malpass called for “measures to speed litigation and the resolution of bankruptcies and reform the costly subsidies, monopolies and protected state-owned enterprises that have slowed development.”
The analysis released ahead of the June 8 issuance of the full report, which will include the Bank Group’s latest forecasts for the global economy, include policies capable of securing core public services, getting money directly to people and maintaining the private sector will limit the harm and help prepare for recovery.
In this way, it is believed, developing countries and the international community can take steps to ensure speedy recovery after the worst of the health crisis has passed and blunt long-term adverse effects.
The World Bank President lamented that “the scope and speed with which the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdowns have devastated the poor around the world are unprecedented in modern times. Current estimates show that 60m people could be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020. These estimates are likely to rise further, with the reopening of advanced economies the primary determinant.”