COVID-19 Pandemic in Developing Countries

December 9, 2020

Compared to what we thought six months ago, the economic outlook has worsened significantly in some emerging market and low-income economies where infections are rising rapidly. Consequently, these economies, excluding China, are projected to incur a greater loss of output over 2020-21 relative to the pre-pandemic projected path when compared to advanced economies. These uneven recoveries significantly worsen the prospects for global convergence in income levels. But how are policymakers responding to this crisis like no other? What should be the priorities to save lives and livelihoods? What remaining policy tools can keep their economies stable until there is a widely available vaccine?

This conference is planned to open avenues of communication between the IMF and stakeholders in developing economies to better understand the impact of the crisis and also between low income countries and middle income emerging markets given that these country groups are facing increasingly similar challenges. Join the conversation between key policymakers, leading academics and civil society on the path forward for developing countries.



Wednesday, December 9, 2020

9:00–9:10 am

Welcome Remarks
Gita Gopinath (IMF)

9:10–9:30 am

Fireside chat—Containing COVID-19 in Developing Countries
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Gita Gopinath speaks with Marc Lipsitch of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics


Session 1 - Pandemic Policies for People
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Chair: Adva Saldinger (Devex)
Reza Baqir (State Bank of Pakistan)
Rachel Glennerster (FCDO)
Ricardo Hausmann (Harvard Kennedy School)
Patrick Ngugi Njoroge (Central Bank of Kenya)

  • Fiscal policy and debt sustainability.
  • Monetary/exchange rate policy.
  • Financial sector policies.


“The IMF and Developing Countries—through COVID-19 and beyond"
Ceyla Pazarbasioglu (IMF) 



“The IMF Listens”

Civil society organizations and local activists speak about the impact of the crisis on their communities.




Session 2—Healing the Scars
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Chair: Eleni Giokos (CNN Business Africa)  
Amadou Hott (Minister of Economy, Planning, and Cooperation, Senegal)
Kristalina Georgieva (IMF)
Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda (ActionAid)
Michael Kremer (University of Chicago)


  • The shape and nature of the recovery (incl. role for digitalization/green investments).
  • Food security, poverty risks and inequality
  • Governance and other structural reforms.