Over Half The World Has Asked IMF For Bailout To Weather "Great Lockdown" Recession

The International Monetary Fund revealed this week that half the world's countries have requested emergency loans to weather the global coronavirus-fueled financial crisis.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors on Wednesday that over a hundred countries have approached the D.C.-based international organization for emergency bailouts.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, Getty Images.

Despite just ten countries so far receiving emergency funding, with many more expected to receive lifelines by end of this month, she said the IMF will use its "full toolbox and $1 trillion firepower" of lending.

The comments came after two days prior at the start of the week the IMF direly predicted in its semi-annual report a "Great Lockdown" recession set to be the steepest in nearly a century, forecasting global gross domestic product will shrink 3% this year.

Georgieva also told CNBC in a new interview, “This is an emergency like no other. It is not because of bad governors or mistakes.” She added, “For that reason, we are providing funding very quickly.”

And further, commenting in response to the fund's reputation for imposing tough conditions on countries seeking emergency loans:

The IMF head said "everything is on the table in terms of measures we can take," and encouraged central banks to "spend as much as you can."

"But keep the receipts," she added. "We don't want accountability and transparency to take a back seat in this crisis."

As confirmed global COVID-19 cases soared past 2.1 million on Thursday, Georgieva did add on an optimistic note that should the virus soon be contained and cases begin to recede in the coming months, "the global economy could expand by 5.8% in 2021," according to CNBC.

“It’s the first time in the history of the IMF that epidemiologists are as important as macro economists for our projections,” the IMF chief said. “We are really hoping our scientists will not disappoint us.”