Revigorizar a los ricos para ayudar a los pobres

WASHINGTON, DC.– Por tercera vez en cinco años, los países más pobres del mundo corren el riesgo de ser golpeados por una crisis que no generaron: una eventual caída derivada de la agitación financiera en las economías más avanzadas del planeta. Luego de pasar el shock de los alimentos y combustibles de 2007-2008 y la subsiguiente crisis financiera, los países de bajos ingresos pueden verse frente a trastornos aún mayores en 2012. Y, dada la interdependencia del mundo globalizado actual, las dificultades de los países pobres inevitablemente tendrán consecuencias indeseadas para todos, ricos y pobres indistintamente.

En el punto más álgido de la crisis global de 2009, muchos países de bajos ingresos experimentaron una desaceleración del crecimiento marcada por caídas en las exportaciones, menores remesas por parte de sus trabajadores expatriados, y disminuciones en la inversión extranjera. Las consecuencias sociales fueron graves: el Banco Mundial estima que 64 millones de personas fueron dejadas en la extrema pobreza a finales de 2010.

Sin embargo, pudo ser mucho peor. Gracias a los resultados considerablemente mejores de las políticas implementadas durante la década previa, los países de bajos ingresos llegaron a la crisis en una situación mucho más apta que en el pasado para resistir los shocks. Tenían menores déficits fiscales y de cuenta corriente, menos inflación, reservas internacionales más abultadas y –en parte gracias a los planes de alivio de la deuda– menor carga por endeudamiento.

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