The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group have announced their readiness to provide assistance to member states, including those in the Caribbean, as they deal with the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Approximately 3,000 persons have been killed by the virus that originated in China. Over the weekend, three Caribbean countries, including the Dominican Republic, recorded cases of the virus, and at a special meeting in Barbados, regional leaders and other health care stakeholders noted that “the capacity to manage an outbreak was identified as an area of concern.”
“We have rapid financing facilities that, collectively, can help countries respond to a wide range of needs.”— Joint statement from IMF and World Bank
As a result, the meeting agreed to establish an expanded Bureau of Heads of Government to continue discussions with the travel and tourism industry, regional and international financial institutions as well as the private sector “with respect “
In a joint statement, the IMF and the World Bank said they “stand ready to help our member countries address the human tragedy and economic challenge posed by the COVID-19 virus.
“We are engaged actively with international institutions and country authorities, with special attention to poor countries where health systems are the weakest and people are most vulnerable.
“We will use our available instruments to the fullest extent possible, including emergency financing, policy advice, and technical assistance. In particular, we have rapid financing facilities that, collectively, can help countries respond to a wide range of needs. The strengthening of country health surveillance and response systems is crucial to contain the spread of this and any future outbreaks.”