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IMF official sees coronavirus crisis dampening growth in some countries for years

WASHINGTON, Sept 23 (Reuters) - The coronavirus crisis is lasting longer than expected and it will take some countries years to return to growth, the No. 2 official at the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

The Fund has provided some $90 billion in emergency financing to almost 80 countries, but is continuing to work with member countries on how to contain the pandemic and mitigate its economic impact, First Deputy Managing Director Geoffrey Okamoto told an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“We’re trying to preserve our financial firepower,” Okamoto said, adding, “We’re talking about a ... return to growth that’s going to take a few years, and many countries along the way that are probably going to need assistance.” (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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