COVID-19 has delivered an enormous global shock, leading to steep recessions in many countries. The baseline forecast by the World Bank envisions a 5.2 per cent contraction in global GDP in 2020—the deepest global recession in decades. Per capita incomes in most emerging and developing economies will shrink this year.
The pandemic highlights the urgent need for policy action to cushion its consequences, protect vulnerable populations, and improve countries’ capacity to cope with similar future events. It is also critical to address the challenges posed by informality and limited safety nets and undertake reforms that enable strong and sustainable growth.