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International Development and Innovation Seminar Series

23 September 2020, 12:30 - 14:00
MS Teams - Online event

Whatever It Takes?

The Global Financial Safety Net, Covid-19, and Developing Countries

Presenter - Christina Laskaridis

Christina Laskaridis Bio:

Christina Laskaridis is a Lecturer in Economics at the Open University, UK, and a PhD candidate at SOAS, University of London. She works on the political economy of sovereign debt, International Organisations, and the history of economics. She was a Research Fellow at Duke University’s Center for the History of Political Economy, and co-convenes The Politics of Economics seminar series at the University of Cambridge.


Multilateral financial institutions have pledged to do whatever it takes to enable emerging market and developing countries to fill a $2.5 trillion financing gap to combat Covid-19 and subsequent economic crises. In this article, we present new datasets to track the extent to which multilateral financial institutions are meeting these goals, and conduct a preliminary assessment of progress to date. We find that the International Monetary Fund and the principal regional financial arrangements have made relatively trivial amounts of new financing available and have been slow to disburse the financing at their disposal. As of July 31 2020, these institutions had committed $89.56 billion in loans and $550 million in currency swaps, totalling $90.11 billion—just 12.6% of their current capacity. The new datasets allow scholars, policymakers, and civil society to continue to track these trends, and eventually examine the impact of such financing on health and development outcomes.

Author names:

Thomas Stubbs

William Kring

Christina Laskaridis

Alexander Kentikelenis

Kevin Gallagher

Chair: Lorena Lombardozzi

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There is no cost to attend.

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