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What the G20 Should Do Now

Without further G20 action, the pandemic-induced recession will only deepen, hurting the world’s poorest and most marginalized people the most. Because the group represents 85% of global GDP, it has the capacity to mobilize resources on the scale required – and its leaders must do so immediately.

LONDON – The time is right for G20 leaders to hold a second meeting to discuss measures to advance the implementation of the G20 Action Plan, and agree to a more strongly coordinated global response to the health, economic, and social emergencies we face. The G20 has demonstrated that it can bring people together around a common set of actions. What it decides next on the COVID-19 response will have a direct bearing on the future of the world economy.

Our world is at a critical moment. On May 30, the highest daily figure was recorded for new cases of COVID-19 worldwide. On every continent, countries are attempting to stop the transmission of the virus. Compared to pre-crisis levels, the International Labor Organization estimates a 10.5% decline in the number of hours worked, equivalent to the loss of more than 300 million full-time jobs. For the first time this century, global poverty is on the rise.

Therefore, as we did a month ago, to emphasize the urgency of delivering immediate relief to countries facing the effects of an unprecedented, global crisis. The problems faced by the poorest countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America demand immediate action, as do those confronting diverse middle-income economies. Taken together, these countries represent nearly 70% of the world’s population and approximately one-third of global GDP.

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