Students in Peshawar, Pakistan, have their hands sanitized before entering class. Pakistan raised health care spending but cut support for social service programs as the pandemic spread.

Stock Markets Start a Big Week on an Upswing: Live Business Updates

Stock Markets Start a Big Week on an Upswing: Live Business Updates

Stock Markets Start a Big Week on an Upswing: Live Business Updates

Credit…Fayaz Aziz/Reuters

Economists are expressing concern over how the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have failed to support less-affluent countries through the pandemic.

Despite promises this year by these two deep-pocketed organizations to help poorer countries through the pandemic, funds have been slow to materialize.

While the World Bank has doubled its lending over the first seven months of 2020 compared with the same period last year, it has been slow to distribute the money, according to research from the Center for Global Development. Of the $280 billion lent out by the I.M.F., only $11 billion has been sent to low-income countries.

Economists are warning that immense relief is required to prevent humanitarian catastrophes in poorer countries, and to ensure that the 60 percent of the world that is classified as an emerging market by the I.M.F. does not incur lasting damage.

If no serious steps are taken, the pandemic could push 150 million people into extreme poverty by next year, the World Bank has warned, marking the first increase in two decades.

“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.


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