At the World Bank and IMF Spring Meeting financial leaders said that the war in Ukraine, western sanctions against Russia, the coronavirus lockdowns and inflation have brought the global economy into a state of disrepair. As a result, the European Commission's Energy Director called on citizens to cut their energy needs.
Finance ministers and central bank governors, who are attending the World Bank and IMF Spring Meeting in Washington, say that the war in Ukraine and western sanctions against Russia, the effects of the coronavirus restrictive measures and lockdowns and rampant inflation, are having a negative impact on the global economy. For her part the European Commission’s Director General for Energy, Ditte Juul Jorgensen, called on citizens to help by cutting their energy needs: "The one thing that everyone can do, that each of us can do, individually, at home, and at work, is to save energy. It helps us save on the energy bill, it lowers the energy bill, it helps our climate by reducing CO2 emissions, and it does help sustainability, and of course it helps Ukraine via all of that."
The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Biral, also said that citizens would have to bear the brunt of the consequences: "Turning down our heating, or using our air-conditioners a bit more carefully. Increasing perhaps, or implementing working from home, to reduce the travel to work. If you were to travel to work we would like to see speed limits, especially the highways, ten kilometers per hour or beyond. In many countries, in many cities, we have seen car-free Sundays. This helps a lot."
Financial leaders also said that economic recovery from the war in Ukraine, climate change, the coronavirus measures and inflation, will require investments in the trillions of dollars. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen: "We face challenges that require investment on a scale that an international institution can't manage on its own, like climate change. And the investments needed for climate change will add up to just trillions and trillions of dollars."
The IMF says that the Ukrainian Finance Ministry says it needs five billion dollars a month to meet its financial obligations. The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva: "For the next couple of months, this is an amount that would be necessary to provide for Ukraine's performing its functions in terms of paying salaries, pensions, paying for social services, for the displaced population and of course, the costs that are coming up on top of the normal payments related to the war."
Representing Croatia in Washington is Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, who ruled out the possibility of a global recession: "The latest projections of the IMF and World Bank, as with other international institutions have been downgrade, but they still forecast growth, for the global economy, the European economy, our immediate surroundings and for Croatia as well. So, lower projections, but still growth. Not a recession."
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