Poorest Countries Suffer Most In Shock-Prone World -IMF

The poorest countries have been disproportionately affected by recent global shocks, IMF Deputy Managing Director Kenji Okamura told a gathering on Wednesday.

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In the past three years, low-income countries have seen a cumulative loss of more than 6 percent in real gross domestic product, about five times more than advanced economies. Poor countries also face a historic funding squeeze due to tighter global financial conditions, elevated debt, and high sovereign spreads, Okamura said.

“For the African continent alone, the IMF estimates the financing need for low-income countries to be $225 billion over the medium-term.”

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African Development Bank chief economist Kevin Chika Urama identified the current junction as an opportunity for shared prosperity for Africa and the world. “Over 30 percent of green minerals are found on the continent, so the future of the green transition also depends on how Africa utilizes that,” he said.

Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s minister of international cooperation, said closing the Sustainable Development Goals gaps remains the best path forward. “While strategies are designed at the country level, the impact is at the global level.”

Supporting farmers remains crucial in improving food security. According to Alvaro Lario, president of the International Fund of Agricultural Development, over 70 percent of food is produced by small-scale farmers, many of whom are going hungry.

Mohamed Hettiti, chief operating officer for OCP Africa, said that accelerating adoption of specialized fertilizer would allow farmers to reduce costs and increase income.

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