GENEVA: The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on Monday bracketed Pakistan among the countries which would be the hardest-hit by the global pandemic of coronavirus, demanding a raft of measures for their relief.
UNCTAD said in a new report that the developing countries – which according to a UN body’s tally number 170 – would need a $2.5 trillion support package this year to face the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
Their economies will take “enormous hit” from high capital outflows, lost export earnings due to falling commodity prices and currency depreciation, with an overall impact likely worse than the 2008 crisis, the report said.
According to the report titled ‘The COVID-19 Shock to Developing Countries’, the required measures included a $1 trillion liquidity injection and a $1 trillion debt relief package, another $500 million for emergency health services and related programs on top of capital controls.
“Sub-Saharan African countries will be among the hardest hit alongside others, including Pakistan and Argentina,” said Richard Kozul-Wright, director of globalization and development strategies at UNCTAD, who oversaw the report.
Referring to a “frightening combination” of factors, including mounting debts, a potential deflationary spiral and a major health crisis, Kozul-Wright said that according to conservative estimates, the coronavirus would cause a $2-$3 trillion financing deficit over this year and next.