ICGFM Greetings During COVID-19


April 10, 2020

Dear Friends of ICGFM,

We at ICGFM want you to know you are in our thoughts during this uncertain time of COVID-19.  The pandemic is affecting every country in the world.  As a result, business and personal lives are changing sharply.  We envision three phases of the pandemic in the year ahead:

  • The pandemic as it is developing now, accompanied by unprecedented health crises in hot spots throughout the world and intense efforts to develop treatments and vaccines
  • A peak and then decline in the incidence of disease as people respect physical distancing more carefully and as some recover
  • A global vaccination program starting in 2021

The first two phases of the pandemic can only be controlled by obliging people to limit contact with others, keeping a distance of 2 meters between oneself and anyone not in one’s household.  This results in closure of non-essential businesses, religious gatherings, and sports events.  Many organizations deemed non-essential face closure.  Many businesses furlough employees and/or go bankrupt.

We know our constituents to be leaders in framing fiscal policy. By sharing sound information and experiences with one another on what succeeds in combating the pandemic, we hope to shorten its duration and soften its impacts.

Over 180 countries have at least one positive case.  Each country and government will need to assess its situation and devise rapid response strategies.  A holistic strategy needs to anticipate assistance to the health sector, also to individuals and businesses most impacted by the loss of trade and jobs. 

As you know, it was necessary for us to cancel the training conference in Miami slated for June.  We are watching to determine whether it will be feasible to hold the December training conference in Washington, DC.  In the meantime, ICGFM is developing on-line learning materials and working on an internet-based communications and event strategy to bring you the training to support you in your career and your community and country to survive the serious disruptions of economic activity generated by the pandemic.

As sorting through social media information can be daunting, we are here offering some relevant and reliable sources we recommend.  The International Monetary Fund Fiscal Affairs Department has just put out the following note on PFM Emergency Response Challenges: CLICK HERE FOR PDF.  It’s home site also has useful blogs and a COVID-19 policy tracker.  The World Bank has an emergency assistance program.  The World Health Organization and the USA Center for Disease Control and Prevention put out reliable information on the disease, updated on a regular basis.  The New York Times and the Washington Post expand on that with free practical information about sanitizing your environment, feeding your family, and the Economist on managing the economic fallout.  Here are useful links with accurate information about the disease, protecting yourself and your community, and mitigating economic fallout:

If you have thoughts on what types of information and training are most needed where, please let us know by email to president.icgfm@icgfm.org  If you are conducting studies or have developed successful strategies for minimizing the impacts of the pandemic, please describe them in an abstract to be shared with our global community.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Lucie C. Phillips

President

ICGFM

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