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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper presents Union of the Comoros’ Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility and Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument. The Comoros’ authorities should use fiscal policy to cushion the adverse effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 shock and bring the fiscal position back in line with medium-term paths once the crisis has passed. In addition to expanding very substantially healthcare spending to meet the population’s pandemic-related needs, the authorities should consider giving targeted and temporary support to the most vulnerable. Monetary policy should focus on maintaining the exchange rate peg. At the same time, the authorities should use all tools at their disposal to safeguard the stability of the banking system, including by providing liquidity to banks facing liquidity pressures and addressing loan servicing difficulties. Beyond implementing their pandemic preparedness plan and strengthening the health care system’s ability to respond to pandemic needs, the authorities are considering delaying deadlines for tax filings and temporarily lowering customs duties for certain imports. They will monitor inflation developments and maintain the exchange rate peg to the euro. The authorities will also do all they can to ease liquidity strains in the banking system. They are also are working with banks to enable targeted loan maturity extensions.
Valentina Flamini and Mauricio Soto
Following a benchmarking exercise, we estimate the spending required to reach satisfactory progress in the Sustainable Development Goals in the health, education, and infrastructure sectors in Brazil. We find that there is room for savings in education (up to 1.5 percentage point of GDP) and health (up to 2.5 percentage points of GDP) without compromising the quality of services but additional investments for over 3 percent of GDP per year are needed to close large infrastructure gaps in roads, water, and electricity by 2030. Brazil can do more with less, but increasing efficiency of public spending will require substantial reforms.
Mrs. Esther Perez Ruiz and Mauricio Soto
Raising living standards continues to be the main challenge facing Guatemala, as a matter of economic success and social cohesion. This paper discusses the spending, financing, and delivery capacity aspects of a viable development strategy for Guatemala couched within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. Overall, Guatemala faces additional spending of about 8½ percent of GDP in 2030 to attain health, education, and roads, water, and sanitation infrastructure SDGs. While substantial, these cost estimates are commensurate with a well-defined financing strategy encompassing continuing tax administration efforts, broad-based tax reform, scaled-up private sector participation, and greater spending efficiency. Improving delivery capacities is also essential to secure access of those public goods to all Guatemalans, irrespective of their place of residence, ethnic group, or ability to pay.
Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. Kamil Dybczak, Vitor Gaspar, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, and Mauricio Soto
This Staff Discussion Note looks at the stark fiscal challenges posed by the decline and aging of populations between now and 2100. It finds that without reforms, pensions and health spending would rise to 25 percent of GDP by end-century in more developed countries (and 16 percent of GDP in less developed countries), with potentially dire fiscal consequences. Given the uncertainty underlying the population projections and associated large fiscal risks, a multi-pronged approach will be required. This could include entitlement reform—starting now but at a gradual pace; policies that affect demographics and labor markets; and better tax systems and more efficient public expenditure.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Portugal’s economy is in deep recession, and the crisis has opened up a large output gap, with severe consequences for employment and government revenue. While the focus is on the medium- and long-term, this analysis also offers insights on how deep the output gap is. It also highlights ways in which policies and reforms can promote growth over the longer haul and suggests that achieving a 2-percent growth rate over the long term—consistent with moderate convergence growth—is a realistic objective.