The Group of 20 (G20) leaders will infuse $5 trillion into the global economy to try and boost things in the wake of the coronavirus’ worldwide spread of chaos.
The group acted with an unprecedented level of teamwork as compared to any other time since its formation during the 2008 financial crisis, committing across the board to a wide variety of ways to help stop the virus and keep the economy running.
The group said it was committed to doing “whatever it takes” in order to stop the virus’ spread and ensuing effects.
With that statement, G20 gave the go-ahead to some of its most propitiative measures to date on trade, promising to make sure essential medical goods are transported as needed and that supply chain disruptions are fixed. The leaders also said they were concerned about some more vulnerable countries like Africa, and about groups of people such as refugees, often stigmatized and left without much help. To help those groups, more attention towards global safety nets and national health systems would be necessary.
In opening remarks, Saudi King Salman, the current head of G20, criticized the lack of a robust response until now from the group. He called for the restoration of normal flows of medical supplies and other essentials in any G20 countries, hoping to restore confidence in the system.
U.S. President Donald Trump said the conference had inspired him because the G20 countries were responding with “tremendous spirit” for getting everything done. Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed that it was essential to keep cooperating to help get rid of the virus and help restore economic normalcy.
However, leaders did not end up calling for a lifting on the export bans many countries put on medical supplies. The leaders said any emergency health response would be targeted, transparent and temporary.
Some criticism of the response came from Mark Sobel, a former U.S. Treasury and International Monetary Fund official, who said the plan was mostly endorsing what individual countries had already done, rather than putting forth any new goals or unified statement.