There will be “people on the street” globally unless steps are taken to protect the most vulnerable from inflation, International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva warned on Wednesday.
“It is important to think that this compounded impact of multiple crises is already testing the patience and resilience of people. And if you don’t take action to support the most vulnerable, there would be consequences: people on the street,” IMF’s Managing Director Georgieva told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“If we don’t bring inflation down, this will hurt the most vulnerable, because an explosion of food and energy prices for those that are better off is inconvenience – for the poor people, tragedy. So we think of poor people first when we advocate for attacking inflation forcefully,” Georgieva said.
The IMF chief told Amanpour that events that have driven price increases—mainly the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—have “made inflation today our biggest enemy.”
“This year is tough, next year tougher. Why? Because of a shock upon shock upon shock. In just a short three years: the pandemic (not yet over), the war, Russia’s invasion pushing energy and food prices up, and then the result is a cost of living crisis,” she told CNN.
When asked about a rise in support for far-right candidates in the likes of Italy and Sweden, Georgieva said that she is “not surprised to see people getting angry. They have been locked in their houses for months, and months and months. They see prices jumping up dramatically. And this is why my appeal to policymakers is be considerate.”
“If we are not able to protect the sense of survival and the sense of solidarity, this is what is going to happen,” she warned.