The Executive Secretary of the United Nations' Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Barcena, says greater international financial cooperation is crucial for regional countries to be able to face 'the perfect storm' unleased by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Barcena participating in a series of high-level virtual events this week, warned that regional countries are living through a 'perfect storm' since, like many other developing economies, 'they have also been facing for some time a combination of adverse internal conditions and growing external constraints that has increased their vulnerability in numerous areas.'
The ECLAC chief said that the region is 'experiencing the biggest economic recession this century, higher unemployment, and an increase in the number of people living in poverty in a context of grave structural gaps - all of this in a scenario of more external restrictions and less liquidity available for emerging economies'.
During the virtual seminar 'One crisis leads to another: Challenges and responses across emerging economies in the time of COVID' - organized by the University College London (UCL) Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP), Barcena stressed that the pandemic has exposed the region's structural problems, 'which are compounded by the challenges stemming from COVID-19.'
In this interactive debate, participants addressed the prospects for a reactivation in line with a global new deal that necessitates greater international cooperation.
'Internal and external factors have combined to produce the worst economic contraction in the region's history (-5.3 per cent forecast for 2020),' Barcena said.
'But the pre-COVID-19 story of Latin America and the Caribbean was not a success growth story either and was marked by high levels of inequality and an absence of progressive structural change.
'We are experiencing a very unfair globalization. There are huge asymmetries on a global...