IMF says $10 trillion spent to combat pandemic, far more needed

FILE PHOTO: Vicki Taylor, a healthcare assistant wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a blood sample from Wayne Morris, a patient at the Woodford medical clinic at Freshney Green Primary Care Centre in Grimsby, Britain June 9, 2020. Picture taken June 9, 2020. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Governments around the world have spent $10 trillion in fiscal actions to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, but significant further efforts are needed, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said new estimates suggested that up to 100 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis, and further spending should focus on minimizing job losses and preventing a rise in inequality.

To promote a more inclusive recovery, investments should focus on improving access to health care and education, strengthening climate protections and broadening the access of low-income households and small business to financial products and technology, she wrote in a new blog on the IMF’s website.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama