Markets

Half of the world has asked the IMF for a bailout, chief says

Share
Key Points
  • "This is an emergency like no other. It is not because of bad governors or mistakes," the IMF's Kristalina Georgieva told CNBC's Sara Eisen.
  • "For that reason, we are providing funding very quickly," Georgieva said.
  • Georgieva noted the global economy could expand by 5.8% in 2021 if the virus is contained and new cases start to recede.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks during the Global Women's Forum in the Gulf emirate of Dubai on February 16, 2020.
KARIM SAHIB | AFP via Getty Images

The global economic downturn has been so severe that already half of the world has asked the International Monetary Fund for a bailout, the organization's chief said Wednesday.

"This is an emergency like no other. It is not because of bad governors or mistakes," Kristalina Georgieva told CNBC's Sara Eisen on CNBC's "Squawk Alley." "For that reason, we are providing funding very quickly."

"We are asking for one thing only: Please pay your doctors and nurses, make sure that your health [care] systems are functioning, and that vulnerable people and first responders are protected," Georgieva said.

Georgieva comments came after the IMF said Tuesday it expects the global economy to contract by 3% this year, adding the world could see a 1930's style recession. The fund had forecast a 3.3% economic expansion for 2020 in January.

Georgieva noted the global economy could expand by 5.8% in 2021 if the virus is contained and new cases start to recede. However, she added the total global economic output would be less than in 2019 even with such a jump. Economic output could also be worse if the virus takes a "double trip" around the world.

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

More than 2 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S. alone, over 600,000 cases have been confirmed.

Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.