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IMF’s Georgieva creates external advisory panel on pandemic

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Friday announced the creation of an external advisory group to provide input on policy challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic and its massive economic impact.

The diverse group includes former and current government officials, private-sector experts and academics, ranging from Tharman Shanmugaratnam, senior minister of Singapore and chairman of its monetary authority and Santander Group <SAN.MC> Executive Chair Ana Botin to Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, chair of ActionAid International, an international NGO.

The panel will meet with Georgieva and other senior IMF officials several times a year.

The committee is being formed as Georgieva has pushed the Group of 20 finance ministers and leaders to take more forceful actions to deal with a pandemic crisis that she said this week would unleash the deepest recession since the 1930s Great Depression.

Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a non-profit alliance of religious, development and advocacy groups, said Georgieva’s creation of the panel reflected her desire to “tear down barriers” and spark more dialogue.

“This shows a different way of doing business,” he said. “While this is an informal group, it’s significant that someone from civil society is able to offer input.”

Besides Shanmugaratnam, Botin and Gumbonzvanda, the panel includes:

· Kevin Rudd, former prime minister of Australia

· Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former finance minister of Nigeria and longtime World Bank official

· Kristin Forbes, professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former White House economic adviser

· Mark Malloch-Brown, former United Nations deputy secretary general

· Feike Sijbesma, former CEO, Royal DSM <DSMN.AS>

· Raghuram Rajan, professor, University of Chicago, and former Reserve Bank of India governor, who also served at the IMF

· Carmen Reinhart, professor, Harvard University

· Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser, Allianz, and a former IMF official

· Scott Minerd, chief investment officer, Guggenheim Investments

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Leslie Adler)

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