Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
February 1998
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    © 1997 International Monetary Fund

    Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    The ESAF at ten years : economic adjustment and reform in low-income countries / staff of the International Monetary Fund — Washington DC : International Monetary Fund, 1997.

    p. cm. — (Occasional paper, ISSN 0251–6365 ; 156)

    ISBN 1-55775-693-7

    1. Structural adjustment (Economic policy) — Developing countries. 2. International Monetary Fund. 3. Economic assistance — Developing countries. I. International Monetary Fund. II. Occasional paper (International Monetary Fund); no. 156.

    HC59.7.E83 1997

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    I Overview

    II Initial Conditions and the Setting for Adjustment

    III What Has Been Achieved?

    IV Lessons for Program Design

    Appendix. Annual Arrangements Under the SAF and ESAF

















    The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:

    • ... to indicate that data are not available;
    • — to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;
    • – between years or months (e.g., 1994–95 or January-June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;
    • / between years (e.g., 1994/95) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.

    “Billion” means a thousand million.

    Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    The term “country,” as used in this paper, does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice; the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states, but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis.


    Since 1986, the IMF has been supporting the adjustment and reform programs of its low-income member countries with financial resources on highly concessional terms through the Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF) and Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF). As their names suggest, these facilities were intended to back fundamental reform in the structure and institutions of the economies concerned, as well as strong macroeconomic policies, with the objectives of promoting higher economic growth and external viability in a balanced manner.

    This paper is a summary of the latest periodic review of experience under SAF-and ESAF-supported programs (the last comparable study was published in 1993). It provides an overview of policies and economic developments in 36 countries during 1986–95, pulls together the main lessons from this experience, and sets out proposals for strengthening the design and implementation of future programs. The report draws on a number of background studies, which will also be published shortly. The review was directed by Susan Schadler, Senior Adviser in the Policy Development and Review Department, under the general guidance of the department’s Director, Jack Boorman. The principal author of the summary report was Hugh Bredenkamp, Chief of the Policy Review Division. The staff team comprised Sharmini Coorey, Jorg Decressin, Louis Dicks-Mireaux, Zia Ebrahimzadeh, Ali Ibrahim, Kalpana Kochhar, Jean Le Dem, Mauro Mecagni, Steven Phillips, and Tsidi Tsikata. A background study on revenue and expenditure policies in SAF- and ESAF-supported programs was prepared by staff of the Fiscal Affairs Department, under the direction of George Abed, Senior Adviser.

    The authors are grateful to numerous colleagues in the Fund for detailed comments on the paper; to Kirsten Fitchett, Emmanuel Hife, and Kadima Kalonji for research assistance; to Lourdes Alvero, Julia Baca, and Olivia Carolin for secretarial assistance; and to Esha Ray of the External Relations Department for editorial assistance.

    The opinions expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IMF or of its Executive Directors.

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