The International Monetary Fund says it is closely monitoring the impact of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war on the world economy.
The Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, stated this on Thursday during a press briefing at the ongoing IMF and World Bank Group annual meetings in Marrakech, Morocco.
She said it is too early to say the exact impact on the economy at the moment, but acknowledged the “up and down of oil prices.”
The IMF MD however said that the situation is not all good for the world economy, describing it as “a new cloud darkening this horizon.”
“In terms of economic impact, we are very closely monitoring how the situation evolves, how it is affecting especially oil markets. It is too early to say. We have seen some ups and downs in oil prices.
“We have seen some reaction on markets. As I said, we will be closely monitoring this. Very clearly this is a new cloud on not the sunniest horizon for the world economy, a new cloud darkening this horizon that is not needed. Pray for peace,” Georgieva said.
She added that “It is heartbreaking to see innocent civilians dying. An attack from one place on another, causing also reciprocity in response.”
According to the IMF chief, it is the innocent who pays the price for the destructive war.
Georgieva said there have been severe shocks that are now becoming the new normal for a world that is weakened by weak growth and economic fragmentation.
According to her, the successive shocks since 2020 have pushed global output down by $3.6 trillion as of this year.
Noting that the loss is not unevenly distributed, the IMF chief said that while the US has already recovered to pre‑pandemic levels, most of the rest of the world has not.
“Low‑income economies have been hardest hit because they have had extremely limited buffers to begin with, so it was hardest for them to protect their economy, to protect their people,” she added.
In a surprise assault early Saturday, Hamas militants stormed Israeli communities near the Gaza border and fired barrages of rockets, in an attack that claimed more than 1,200 lives.
Israel says Hamas has taken more than 150 people hostage, including both civilians and security forces.
“Thirteen prisoners… including foreigners” were killed in five locations targeted by Israeli fighter jets, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement.
Israel has rained air and artillery strikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip — a densely populated enclave of 2.4 million people — flattening buildings and killing more than 1,500 people.
According to the Hamas media office in Gaza, at least 500 children are among the dead.