每日英語跟讀 Ep.K354: How the Wealthy World Has Failed Poor Countries During the Pandemic
Like much of the developing world, Pakistan was alarmingly short of doctors and medical facilities long before anyone had heard of COVID-19. Then the pandemic overwhelmed hospitals, forcing some to turn away patients. As fear upended daily life, families lost livelihoods and struggled to feed themselves.
On the other side of the world in Washington, two deep-pocketed organizations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, vowed to spare poor countries from desperation. Their economists warned that immense relief was required to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and profound damage to global prosperity. Emerging markets make up 60% of the world economy, by one IMF measure. A blow to their fortunes inflicts pain around the planet.
Wages sent home to poor countries by migrant workers — a vital artery of finance — have diminished. The shutdown of tourism has punished many developing countries. So has plunging demand for oil. Billions of people have lost the wherewithal to buy food, increasing malnutrition. By next year, the pandemic could push 150 million people into extreme poverty, the World Bank has warned, in the first increase in more than two decades.
But the World Bank and IMF have failed to translate their concern into meaningful support, economists say. That has left less-affluent countries struggling with limited resources and untenable debts, prompting their governments to reduce spending just as it is needed to bolster health care systems and aid people suffering lost income.
“A lost decade of growth in large parts of the world remains a plausible prospect absent urgent, concerted and sustained policy response,” concluded a recent report from the Group of 30, a gathering of international finance experts, including Lawrence Summers, a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama, and Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration.
The wealthiest nations have been cushioned by extraordinary surges of credit unleashed by central banks and government spending collectively estimated at more than $8 trillion. Developing countries have yet to receive help on such a scale.
The IMF and World Bank have marshaled a relatively anemic response, in part because of the predilections of their largest shareholder, the United States.
國際貨幣基金與世界銀行做出的反應相對無力，部分原因是順應最大股東美國的意思。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5015842