Listen to the brightest minds in the field of economics and development discuss their latest research and deconstruct global economic trends. IMF Podcasts are also available on digital platforms such as iTunes, SoundCloud and Libsyn, and free to use for broadcasters, educators and institutions. 

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Safeguarding Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa

June 3, 2020

One-third of the world’s droughts occur in sub-Saharan Africa. (iStock by Getty Images/crazydiva)

Sub-Saharan Africa is on the front lines of climate change with extreme weather wreaking havoc on infrastructure and agricultural production. COVID-19 introduces yet another level of risk to the food chain. In this podcast, IMF economists Pritha Mitra and Seung Mo Choi say the increase in frequency and intensity of natural disasters is weighing down on the region, which relies heavily on rainfed agriculture. The latest Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa looks at how the region can better manage the types of shocks that threaten its food supply.


Pritha Mitra and Seung Mo Choi are both economists in the African Department at the IMF.

Ralph Chami: Umbilical Cord of Remittances Under Threat

May 29, 2020

Stabilizing employment for migrant workers will help host countries restart and allow remittances to keep flowing. (iStock by Getty Images/ ChuckSchugPhotography)

The pandemic is crippling economies across the globe but for many countries, the economic shock will be magnified by the loss of remittances—money sent home by migrant and guest workers employed in foreign countries. Ralph Chami is an Assistant Director for the Institute for Capacity Development at the IMF. In this podcast, he says remittances are a lifeline for low-income and fragile states and when migrants lose their jobs those remittance flows stop. Chami says it's in everyone's interest for host countries to help support migrant workers through the pandemic.

Chami and IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh co-authored  Lifelines in Danger  published in the June 2020 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.

Ralph Chami is an Assistant Director for the IMF's Institute for Capacity Development.


Jonathan Ostry on How Pandemics Widen the Gap

May 18, 2020

Low-skilled workers are on the front lines and disproportionately hit by the pandemic's economic impact. (iStock by Getty Images/FG trade)

While rich and poor are equally vulnerable to the debilitating physical effects of the coronavirus, economist Jonathan Ostry says the economic and social impact of the pandemic is much less equal. Ostry is Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the IMF and in this podcast, he says the poor and the working class bear the brunt of pandemics and that policies need to pay specific attention to prevent long-term damage to the livelihoods of society's most vulnerable. Ostry's latest study on Inequality and pandemics is published by the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) where he is a Research Fellow.

You can read Jonathan Ostry’s blog on how pandemics impact the poor at


Jonathan Ostry is Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund.

Sub-Saharan Africa: COVID-19 A Threat to Development

May 12, 2020

Failure to contain the spread of the virus in sub-Saharan Africa will have catastrophic economic, health and humanitarian consequences. (iStock by Getty Images/ fivepointsix)

Sub-Saharan Africa is facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis that threatens to reverse much of the development progress it's made in recent years. The latest Regional Economic Outlook shows the economy will contract by 1.6 percent this year; the worst reading on record. Papa N'Diaye is Head of Research in the IMF’s African Department that publishes the outlook. In this podcast, N'Diaye says by the end of 2020, the region will face income losses of about $200 billion relative to what they were expecting 6 months ago.

Papa N’Diaye, Heads the Regional Studies Division in the IMF’s African Department.

Jihad Azour: Middle East, Central Asia Face Perfect Storm Amid COVID-19

May 4, 2020

Latest outlook for Middle East and Central Asia shows one of the most challenging moments in economic history. (iStock by Getty Images/ CasarsaGuru)

No region has been spared the economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic. And with the high level of oil-dependency and informality of many countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, Jihad Azour says the economic impact of COVID-19 has been dramatic. Azour heads the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, which has just published the region's economic outlook that shows formidable challenges in the face of the pandemic.

You can read Azour's’s blog and others about the global impact of the pandemic at

Jihad Azour is Director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department.

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