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World leaders pledge US$ 5 trillion to address the global economic collapse

Friday, March 27th 2020 - 09:08 UTC
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Fears are mounting the virus could cause an even greater shock than the Great Depression, with the latest unemployment figures out of the US breaking records Fears are mounting the virus could cause an even greater shock than the Great Depression, with the latest unemployment figures out of the US breaking records
Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, during a video link meeting of the G20 on Thursday. Global leaders are pledging a “united front” to fight the outbreak Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, during a video link meeting of the G20 on Thursday. Global leaders are pledging a “united front” to fight the outbreak

World leaders on Thursday promised US$5 trillion to stave off global economic collapse from the coronavirus pandemic that has killed 21,000 people and shut down huge swathes of the globe.

From New York to Paris to New Delhi life has ground to standstill with some three billion people confined to their homes as governments scramble to halt the disease's deadly march across the world.

The death toll spiraled upward again in Europe, as fatalities in the United Stated shot past 1,000 and cases in Africa continued to multiply, and already-stretched healthcare systems readied for the worst.

Fears are mounting the virus could cause an even greater shock than the Great Depression, with the latest unemployment figures out of the US breaking records as businesses across the world's biggest economy are pinched by the pandemic.

Leaders from the G20 most industrialized nations held crisis talks by video link on Thursday, pledging a “united front” to fight the outbreak - along with an enormous financial injection to prop up the economy.

“The virus respects no borders,” the leaders said in a statement.

“We are injecting over US$5 trillion into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic.”

They also pledged “robust” support for developing nations, where it is feared coronavirus could next take hold after ravaging China and then Europe.

But the unity pledged by the G20 has been in short supply with China and the United States trading barbs over their handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The outbreak first emerged in China late last year but has spread relentlessly. Europe is now the hardest hit continent, clocking over 250,000 infections and more than 15,000 deaths.

Countries are now facing the twin challenge of stemming infections and dealing with the sick while trying to tend to a global economy facing the most devastating recession in living memory.

In a sign of the economic impact, some 3.3 million people in the US filed unemployment claims last week - the highest number ever recorded.

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