2021, we all hope, will be the year of recovery. If COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out at scale, including in the developing world, global economic recovery will be large. But that in itself ensures neither that all countries will be included in the recovery, nor that all people within each country will see the gains. A rising tide, as we have seen only too well since US president John F. Kennedy first used the phrase in 1963, does not lift all boats.
This policy paper outlines a series of opportunities and challenges for constructive partnership among the IFIs and the UN in fragile states. This paper applies these lessons to the specific issue of fuel subsidy reform, a policy option under consideration to manage mounting fiscal pressure in countries as diverse as Sudan and Lebanon. Relatively low international fuel prices present an opportunity, while at the same time, struggling households and fuel-dependent industries hit hard by the pandemic seek increased government support.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank conducted their first virtual Spring Meetings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This briefing summarizes the discussions, which focused on the economic impact of the pandemic, and provides key takeaways on topics including debt relief, financing for COVID-19 response, multilateral partnerships, and efforts to support global supply chains.