Georgieva made her comment during the curtain raiser event of the anticipated IMF and World Bank Group (WBG) annual meetings, scheduled to kick off on Monday.
The downgrades will include countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, according to Georgieva.
“The outlook is extraordinarily uncertain and well beyond the normal range. The war and sanctions could escalate. New COVID-19 variants could emerge. Crops could fail,” Georgieva highlighted.
“Before the war, Russia and Ukraine provided 28 percent of global wheat exports; Russia and Belarus supplied 40 percent of exports of potash, a crucial fertiliser. Now, grain and corn prices are soaring, and leaders across Africa and the Middle East are telling me that supplies are running low.”
Georgieva stressed that the double crisis of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict along with the pandemic represent a massive setback for the global recovery, adding that they contribute to causing the highest level of inflation globally in many years.
“Higher commodity prices have lifted growth prospects for many exporters of oil, natural gas, and metals. But these countries are also impacted by higher uncertainty, and their gains are far from enough to offset an overall global slowdown, largely driven by the war. At the same time, higher energy and food prices are adding to inflationary pressures, squeezing real incomes of households around the world."
She added that food and energy price hikes together with supply chain disruptions increase fuel inflation and debt levels.
Charting a map to deal with the ongoing challenges, Georgieva said that central banks should adjust appropriate monetary policies and countries need to extend debt maturities and resort to exchange rate flexibility to foreign exchange interventions and capital flow management measures.
“These country-level tools need to be coupled with international efforts to help economies move safely through the monetary tightening cycle,” Georgieva explained.
She also called for international cooperation by providing the required finances and policies to help countries counter the ongoing economic challenges.
In its latest report, released in January, the IMF lowered its projections for the global real GDP growth in 2022 to 4.4 percent, down from the 4.9 percent it had projected in October 2021, owing to coronavirus challenges.
The IMF upgraded Egypt’s real GDP growth by 0.4 percent in 2022 to 5.6 percent, compared to the fund’s October 2021 projections.
Egypt is currently working with the IMF on designing a new loan-backed programme to address the ongoing challenges and support its economy against the severe repercussions of the Ukraine war.