Skip to Georgetown Americas Institute Full Site Menu Skip to main content
April 19, 2023

Evaluating the International Monetary Fund's Emergency Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Showing the Evaluating the International Monetary Fund's Emergency Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Video

Within the first three months of the pandemic, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provided emergency financial assistance to more than 60 countries. The Latin America and Caribbean region received more IMF COVID-19 relief funding than any other region in the world. A new report from the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) assesses the institution's pandemic response, exploring questions like: Was IMF financing adequate and delivered through the appropriate channels? Was emergency assistance provided in a timely manner with the correct safeguards against corruption and misuse of funds? Did the IMF provide appropriate advice on fiscal and monetary policy and effectively engage staff and budget for the pandemic response? How can the organization improve its response to similar shocks in the future? 

The Georgetown Americas Institute and the IEO welcomed lead evaluator of the IEO Nicoletta Batini, Eduardo Levy of Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Andres Velsco of the London School of Economics, and Nancy Zimmerman of Bracebridge Capital for a discussion of the IEO’s new internal assessment in a virtual panel moderated by GAI Founding Director Alejandro Werner. 

This event was co-sponsored by the Georgetown Americas Institute and the Independent Evaluation Office at the International Monetary Fund.


Nicoletta Batini is the lead evaluator of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Independent Evaluation Office. Prior to the IMF, she was advisor of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, professor of Economics at the University of Surrey, and director of the International Economics and Policy Office of the Treasury in Italy. She holds a Ph.D. in international finance (S.S.S.U.P. S. Anna) and a Ph.D. in monetary economics (University of Oxford). Currently, her research focuses on the economics of energy and land and sea use transitions for climate mitigation. Her new book “The Economics of Sustainable Food: Smart Policies for People and the Planet” was published in June 2021 by Island Press and the International Monetary Fund.

Andrés Velasco is the dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. From 2017 to 2018, he was a member of the G20 Eminent Persons Group. From 2015 to 2016, he co-chaired the Global Panel on the Future of the Multilateral Lending Institutions. From 2013 to 2016, he was a member of the Global Oceans Commission. Velasco was a presidential candidate in Chile in 2013. He also was the minister of finance of Chile from March 2006 to March 2010. During his tenure he was recognized as Latin American Finance Minister of the Year by several international publications. 

Nancy Zimmerman is co-founder and managing partner of Bracebridge Capital, a leading Boston-based hedge fund manager with over $12 billion under management. Bracebridge is a pioneer in the field of absolute return investing and for over 25 years has focused on generating returns that are largely uncorrelated with broad moves in equities, currencies, and rates. Bracebridge manages private investment funds serving longstanding investors that include endowments, foundations, family offices, and pensions. Zimmerman began her career at O’Connor and Associates and managed the interest rate option group on a worldwide basis for Goldman Sachs before founding Bracebridge.

Eduardo Levy Yeyati is the former dean and full professor (on sabbatical leave) of the School of Government at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires and the founder and faculty director of its Center for Evidence-based Policy (CEPE-Di Tella). He is also lead researcher at Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) and founding partner of Elypsis, an economic research firm in Argentina. Prior to that, he was senior adviser to the Office of the Chief of Staff in Argentina (where he led the program Argentina 2030), director at the Bank of Investment and Trade Credit in 2016, head of Latin American Research and Emerging Markets Strategy at Barclays Capital from 2007 to 2010, financial sector adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank from 2006 to 2007, and chief economist of the Central Bank of Argentina in 2002. 

Alejandro Werner (moderator) is the founding director of the Georgetown Americas Institute and a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute. He recently completed almost nine years as director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary Fund. Prior to that appointment, he rose to undersecretary in Mexico’s Finance Ministry and taught at leading universities in Mexico, Spain, and the United States. He earned his Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.