Mr. Bjoern Rother, Mr. Sebastian Sosa, Majdi Debbich, Chiara Castrovillari, and Ervin Prifti
The global food crisis remains a major challenge. Food insecurity fueled by widely experienced increases in the cost of living has become a growing concern especially in low-income countries, even if price pressures on global food markets have softened somewhat since the onset of Russia’s war in Ukraine in February 2022. Targeted assistance to the most vulnerable households combined with policy measures to support trade and agriculture systems, including to better cope with climate shocks, can help countries withstand the fallout of the ongoing food crisis while building longer-term resilience. The IMF, working in close cooperation with other international organizations, has continued to contribute to international efforts to alleviate food insecurity by providing policy advice, capacity development, and financial support through Upper Credit Tranche Arrangements and the new Food Shock Window. New commitments to countries particularly affected by the global food crisis total $13.2 billion since February 2022, of which $3.7 billion has been disbursed as of March 2023.
Mr. Olumuyiwa S Adedeji, Mrs. Jana Bricco, and Ms. Vera V Kehayova
The exposure of low-income countries to natural disasters has a significant impact on food production and food security. This paper provides a framework for assessing a country’s vulnerability to food crisis in the event of natural disasters. The paper finds that macroeconomic and structural indicators that are crucial for ensuring the resilience of low-income countries to adverse external shocks are equally important for minimizing the occurrence of food crisis in the event of natural disasters.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The IMF is helping low-income countries hit by high food prices take appropriate policy action while providing financial assistance to some of the worst-affected nations, Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said.
This Selected Issues paper on Bangladesh underlies the export performance of readymade garment industry and inflation dynamics. Bangladesh has demonstrated that it is highly competitive in the world’s major garment markets. Inflation inertia, monetary factors, and exchange rate fluctuations are the main determinants of inflation in Bangladesh. Despite adoption of numerous tax policy measures during the past few years, policies implemented by the Bangladesh authorities have not been fully successful in lifting the revenue ratio to a level warranted by developmental objectives.
This paper highlights that the current round of trade talks under the auspices of the World Trade Organization aims at better integrating developing countries—especially the small and poor ones—into the global trading system. For that reason, it was named the Doha Development Agenda when it was launched in late 2001. However, more than three years on, little progress has been made. It took a late July 2004 accord outlining “negotiating frameworks” in agriculture and industrial products just to keep the talks afloat.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Global food aid serves as a critical safety net for poor countries. But does food aid reach those who most need it when they most need it? And, more broadly, has it generally been effective in “smoothing” consumption patterns—that is, averting sharp changes in the overall availability offood? In a new IMF Working Paper, “Foreign Aid and Consumption Smoothing: Evidence from Global Food Aid,” Sanjeev Gupta, Benedict Clements, and Erwin R. Tiongson examine the cyclical properties offood aid and evaluate how successful it has been in helping the economies it targets.
Mr. Erwin H Tiongson, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Mr. Sanjeev Gupta
Global food aid is considered a critical consumption smoothing mechanism in many countries. However, its record of stabilizing consumption has been mixed. This paper examines the cyclical properties of food aid with respect to food availability in recipient countries, with a view to assessing its impact on consumption in some 150 developing countries and transition economies, covering 1970 to 2000. The results show that global food aid has been allocated to countries most in need. Food aid has also been countercyclical within countries with the greatest need. However, for most countries, food aid is not countercyclical. The amount of food aid provided is also insufficient to mitigate contemporaneous shortfalls in consumption. The results are robust to various specifications and filtering techniques and have important implications for macroeconomic and fiscal management.
This paper describes the need to broaden the agenda for poverty reduction. The broadening of the agenda follows from a growing understanding that poverty is more than low income, a lack of education, and poor health. The poor are frequently powerless to influence the social and economic factors that determine their well being. The paper highlights that a broader definition of poverty requires a broader set of actions to fight it and increases the challenge of measuring poverty and comparing achievement across countries and over time.
Agriculture remains the dominant sector in the economies of most Sub-Saharan African countries. However, the experience of agricultural growth in the region stands in sharp contrast to the robust performance of agriculture in many Asian countries, particularly China. In a number of African countries, labor productivity has fallen and land productivity has not risen significantly. In China, on the other hand, land and labor productivities have increased steadily over the past two decades. An examination of factors underlying the contrasting experiences of China and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa reveals important differences in the institutional and policy environments affecting the use of new and profitable technologies to raise land and labor productivities.