G20 leaders pledge $5 trillion to safeguard global economy against COVID-19
Leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies committed on Thursday to inject over five trillion U.S. dollars to prop up the global economy as part of their joint measures to blunt economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic, which is expected to trigger a global recession, has infected over 500,000 people worldwide, and the death toll reached over 23,000. The amount of spending measures this time is equal to that pledged against the global financial crisis in 2009.
"We are currently undertaking immediate and vigorous measures to support economies, protect workers, businesses — especially micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises—and the sectors most affected," the G20 leaders said in a joint statement after their 90-minute video conference.
Manufacturing capacity will be expanded to meet the increasing needs for medical supplies, which will be made widely available at an affordable price on an equitable basis, according to the statement.
As many countries implement export bans on medical supplies, the G20 leaders also agree to ensure the trade flow of vital medical supplies, critical agricultural products and other goods and services across borders. They will work jointly to resolve disruptions to the global supply chains.
G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will coordinate regularly, and develop a set of G20 urgent actions in the joint fight against the pandemic by their ministerial meeting in April, the statement outlined.
Central banks of G20 nations have acted to promote financial stability and enhance liquidity in global markets, and have undertaken the extension of swap lines, according to the statement.
It is also essential to preserve jobs. The International Labour Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will monitor the pandemic's impact on employment as well, the statement said.