World Bank: coherent Covid-19 Policy Response Needed

The Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region is seeing a sharp decline in growth due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) crisis, which requires several policy responses to support the most vulnerable, avert a financial crisis, and protect jobs, according to a new report form the World Bank.

To help the vulnerable face the loss of earnings from the lockdown, existing social protection and social assistance programs should be rapidly scaled up and their coverage extended, according to “The Economy in the Time of Covid-19,” the latest semiannual report from the World Bank’s Chief Economist Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.

At the same time, governments may need to support financial sector institutions and key sources of employment.

A series of shocks hit economic growth in LAC over the past year starting with social unrest, the collapse of international oil prices, and now the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis. Growth is suffering as a result.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Latin America and Caribbean region (excluding Venezuela) is expected to be -4.6% in 2020, according to the report.* A return to growth of 2.6% is expected in 2021.