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Global tensions impact World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings

People walk near a sign of foreign currency outside a money exchange office at a shopping district in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
People walk near a sign of foreign currency outside a money exchange office at a shopping district in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Copyright Lee Jin-man/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Lee Jin-man/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AFP
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The World Bank and International Monetary Fund's annual Spring Meetings kick off this week with concerns over high inflation, rising geopolitical tension, and financial stability.

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The World Bank and International Monetary Fund's annual Spring Meetings kick off this week with concerns over high inflation, rising geopolitical tension, and financial stability.

One of those tensions is the war in Ukraine. The IMF head, speaking ahead of the gathering, said it could be stopped with just one decision by the country that started it.

"This war has distracted the world`s attention from many other pressing problems. It not only kills people. It is pushing up food prices. It is creating more geopolitical tensions and reducing the ability of the world to work as one," IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.

The IMF said Thursday the world economy was expected to grow less than three percent this year, down from 3.4 percent last year, increasing the risk of hunger and poverty globally.

Georgieva added the period of slower economic activity would be prolonged, with the next five years of growth remaining at around three per cent, calling it “our lowest medium-term growth forecast since 1990, and well below the average of 3.8% from the past two decades”.

She said slower growth would be a “severe blow," making it even harder for low-income nations to catch up. 

"Poverty and hunger could further increase, a dangerous trend that was started by the COVID crisis,” she said.

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