International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has warned that the world must be ready to deal with shocks and “the unthinkable” in a post-COVID-19 world and in light of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Georgieva made the comments during a World Government Summit panel hosted by CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in Dubai on Feb. 14, where she also mentioned the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria that have killed more than 36,000 people.
When asked how “difficult” this year will be, Georgieva replied that the world economy is still in a “very difficult place” and global growth is slowing down in 2023, but it may be a turning point, with inflation declining in some countries. She further stated that the world must be prepared for the unexpected and that shocks can be handled better if the “fabric” of each country and society is strong.
Additionally, Georgieva said that the IMF has to play a “stabilizing role” in the war in Ukraine, and the nation will need around $40 billion to $48 billion for the economy to function this year. The IMF has also been providing Ukraine with advice on how to run a “war economy” since Russia’s invasion began in February last year, and has financed two packages worth $2.7 billion of its own resources.
The World Bank also estimated in September that the current cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine amounts to $349 billion, while Anna Bjerde, the World Bank’s vice president for Europe and Central Asia, told the Austrian newspaper Die Presse that around 500 billion euros (about $533 billion) would be needed to rebuild Ukraine’s damaged or destroyed infrastructure.
In response to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s call for more allies to provide more ammunition to Ukraine, the Kremlin accused NATO of being an organization that is “hostile” toward Russia and becoming increasingly involved in the war in Ukraine.