Coronavirus Economic Planning: Hoping for the Best, Prepared for the Worst

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Individuals infected by the coronavirus potentially face a blow to their health and personal and economic well-being.

Similarly, countries hit by a sudden and unexpected public health emergency—as coronavirus is proving to be—can see their economies slow and their budgets squeezed as they spend more to counter the impact of the virus. At the same time, they may experience a drop in revenue from falling economic activity. Countries could also face lower export revenues due to falling tourism receipts or a decline in commodity prices. A sudden halt in capital inflows could exacerbate the situation further. Together, this can result in an urgent balance-of-payments need to counter the mismatch between foreign exchange inflows and outflows.

Even if an individual country is fortunate enough to escape widespread viral contagion, the spillover effects from global developments or broken supply chains may still lead to faltering economic activity.

Timely financial assistance

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While the physical impact of the virus will be tackled by health professionals, the IMF can help mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus. In addition to policy and technical advice, the greatest support the IMF can provide in such emergencies is through timely financial assistance.

The IMF has a long history and extensive expertise in responding to natural disasters, epidemics, and post-conflict situations. Emergency financial assistance, on average, accounts for 20 percent of IMF members’ requests for support. Swift financing can be essential to replenish international reserves, obtain critical imports, or boost budgets.

When the Ebola virus devastated parts of Africa—and Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone suffered significant humanitarian and economic hardship—the IMF provided concessional emergency assistance of US$378 million to these three countries, a total of 2.3 percent of their combined GDP.

The IMF also provided relief to reduce their debt burden using funds from the IMF’s Catastrophic Containment and Relief Trust, which is being boosted by a £150 million contribution from the United Kingdom.

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Two emergency financing instruments

Under the IMF’s two emergency financing instruments—the Rapid Credit Facility and the Rapid Financing Instrument—member countries can receive financing to respond to shocks, including large natural and health disasters. The benefits of these two lending vehicles are their size, their speed, and their flexibility. After Cyclone Idai swept through Mozambique, the Fund responded quickly to provide emergency support.

In contrast to Fund programs that provide financing over time, disbursements under these two instruments are one-off payments meant to cover an urgent balance-of-payments need and not subject to traditional IMF conditions. The country has only to demonstrate that its debt is sustainable and make a commitment to economic policies that help overcome the emergency.

Adding up the numbers

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In the event of a severe downturn triggered by the coronavirus, we estimate the Fund could provide up to US$50 billion in emergency financing to fund emerging and developing countries’ initial response. Low-income countries could benefit from about US$10 billion of this amount, largely on concessional terms.

Beyond the immediate emergency, members can also request a new loan—drawing on the IMF’s war chest of around US$1 trillion in quota and borrowed resources—and current borrowers can top up their ongoing lending arrangements.

As we watch the unfolding health emergency, like the rest of the global community, the IMF is hoping for the best. But, through its emergency financing, we are prepared for the worst so that, in the words of the American writer Maya Angelou, we can try to be unsurprised by anything in between.

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Coronavirus Economic Planning: Hoping for the Best, Prepared for the Worst - Brand SpurCoronavirus Economic Planning: Hoping for the Best, Prepared for the Worst - Brand Spur

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Dorsett Hospitality International improves air ventilation on guest floors in Hong Kong

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 23 April 2021 - Dorsett Hospitality International has been regularly enhancing and reviewing its health and safety measures to ensure our guests and employees' wellbeing. All 9 of our Hong Kong hotels will be stationing High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) UV-C air purifiers on guest floors to improve and disinfect air circulation. As of today Dorsett Wanchai, a Designated Hotel for Quarantine for inbound travellers (outside of China), has already placed a Smart IoT UV-C HEPA Air Purifier on every guest floor.

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Coronavirus Economic Planning: Hoping for the Best, Prepared for the Worst - Brand Spur

Dorsett Hospitality International has referenced and selected an air purifier from the list of "Information on air purifiers meeting specified specifications applicable to catering businesses" advised by The Working Group and Hong Kong government. The Momax Smart IoT UV-C Air Purifier (AP8S) has H13 HEPA and Active carbon filters which are 99.95% efficient at capturing and removing airborne particles that are no more than 0.3 microns in diameter, including harmful particulates such as PM 2.5 and other allergens, dust, mold and pollution from the air. It also provides Ultraviolet-C sanitisation which is 99.9% efficient in disinfecting the air and killing germs. The built-in PM2.5 high-sensitivity laser sensor allows us to accurately and carefully monitor the standard of air quality on each floor and ensure air is being circulated and disinfected regularly 24/7.

Since the onset of COVID-19, Dorsett has worked closely with its preferred expert partner Ecolab, a global leader in infection prevention solutions, to provide hospital-grade disinfectant designed to kill pathogens. Each hotel room has its own independent pipe, which connects to the main fan on the roof of all hotels, allowing fresh air to be drawn from the outside to each room, and through an air filter disinfected with Ecolab.

We want to offer our guests the confidence to travel with Dorsett, by understanding and anticipating their needs when it comes to health and safety and lifting their spirits as we continue to fight and recover from the epidemic. Dorsett Hospitality International will continue to closely monitor and improve our health and safety measures as well as our overall guest experience. Our designated quarantine hotels have recently launched monthly Zooms for our quarantine guests, including a private live workout with F45 Causeway Bay and a virtual wine tasting, to offer our community a chance to connect and interact throughout their stay.

For more information visit: https://www.dorsetthotels.com/en/hong-kong.html

Dorsett Hospitality International Hotels in Hong Kong:

About Dorsett Hospitality International

Dorsett Hospitality International is one of Asia's fastest-growing hotel groups. As a Hong Kong hospitality brand, we are proud to have an international footprint in 27 major cities worldwide with a total of 58 properties with our strategic partners TWH and AGORA Hospitality, including Dorsett Hospitality International's 3 core brands: Dorsett Hotels & Resorts, d.Collection, and Silka, each with their own distinct identity and offerings to cater to diverse travel needs. Since the group's establishment in Hong Kong in January 2007, we have grown by leaps and bounds with hotels across China, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Continental Europe; more properties are planned in the development pipeline.


For more information on Dorsett Hospitality International, visit: www.dorsett.com


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Coronavirus Economic Planning: Hoping for the Best, Prepared for the Worst - Brand Spur
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