While reflecting on DFC’s progress in implementing its core development mandate, and confronting the challenges posed the COVID-19 pandemic, we reached out to Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), a lead sponsor of the BUILD Act and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We asked Senator Coons for his take on how the newest US development agency is faring and what he hopes to see in DFC’s future.
CGD Policy Blogs
Ensuring Financial Stability in the Era of COVID-19: Recommendations for Latin America and the Caribbean
With a surging pandemic, income losses, and a deepening recession, Latin America and the Caribbean is facing a health and economic crisis that will test its financial systems like few events in modern times. The blow, however, can be softened. Banks as well as governments and central banks can play a crucial role, providing financing to lessen the impact on families and firms and to speed the recovery.
A few targeted actions now, backed up with commensurate resources, can help ensure the developing world gets back on a path to shared prosperity sooner rather than later.
A simple way to guarantee an adequate flow of long-run, sustained funding for health surveillance and disease control, and to prepare for the next novel virus in the world’s poor countries, is to create an endowment dedicated to that purpose. A $10 billion endowment could generate income of $500 million a year.
Last week Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar sent a letter signed by hundreds of lawmakers from 40 countries to the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, urging them to greatly increase the access of developing countries to financial assistance. They called for a new issue of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) at the IMF, echoing the earlier plea of Gordon Brown and Larry Summers for at least $1 trillion in new SDRs.
Following on from the recently convened meetings of the IMF and World Bank, Masood Ahmed lays out a two track agenda for the COVID-19 financial response.
As low- and middle-income countries are hit by the health and economic effects of COVID-19, the international community is working to mobilize billions of dollars in grants, loans, and debt relief. At the moment, it is difficult to get a full picture of the funding on offer, to whom it is given, and how it will be used.
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a huge economic toll in low-income countries. The IMF has provided prompt support to help mitigate it, but it could and should do much more. The political commitment of the international community will be essential for the institution to fulfill its potential.
Let’s unpack our arguments for why a debt standstill would be the wrong move for IDA at this point in time.
Even as the COVID-19 curve begins to flatten in the Northern Hemisphere, the developing world is just starting to feel its onslaught. Just as in the United States, where some of the most effective responses to the global pandemic are generated locally, the success of developing countries will also be determined by the actions of local leaders, citizens, and organizations—including fiscal responses.