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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Sierra Leone continues to pursue its development path amidst continued vulnerability to shocks and still fragile institutions. Despite a decisive health and economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, less than one in five Sierra Leoneans is vaccinated, and urgent challenges, such as food insecurity, persist. The authorities’ ambitious National Development Plan is showing first results in the education sector, but human development outcomes remain among the weakest worldwide. The COVID-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine has stoked inflation and exacerbated an exceptionally tight fiscal situation in the context of high risk of debt distress, severely limiting the authorities’ room to maneuver.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Kenya’s economy has been rebounding strongly in a challenging environment. Global shocks from the war in Ukraine and related trade disruptions—alongside more challenging financing conditions for frontier markets due to a normalization of monetary policy in advanced economies—will impact the external position in the near term. Inflation is set to increase, albeit temporarily, with the pass-through of global price shocks. Domestically, shortfall in rains and the continuing drought in the semi-arid regions are adding to uncertainties and pressuring vulnerable groups. The authorities view their IMF-supported program as a key policy anchor in the face of these shocks. While surging global fuel prices have made containing the cost of recently granted fuel subsidies urgent, Kenya’s strong fiscal performance provides scope to cushion the adjustment to these shocks without exceeding program deficit targets. Strong performance of tax revenues is a key driver of this resilience. Policy tradeoffs will remain difficult, however, heading into August elections.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Madagascar continues to be severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a contraction of GDP estimated at 7.1 percent in 2020, the economic recovery has been sluggish, partly reflecting a delayed reopening of the economy. Postponement of some external budget support, following delays in structural reforms, will open a fiscal financing gap in 2022.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A virtual technical assistance (TA) mission supported by the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department (APD) was conducted by the IMF Statistics Department (STA) and the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC) during October 25 – November 2, 2021. The mission assisted the Department of Resources and Development (DoRD), National Statistics Office (NSO) improving the compilation and dissemination of Government Finance statistics (GFS) and Public Sector Debt Statistics (PSDS) according to the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM2014) and the Public-Sector Debt Statistics Guide 2011 (PSDSG 2011). The mission was conducted under the Data for Decisions (D4D) trust fund,1 a multi-donor initiative aimed at strengthening the quality of national statistical outputs to better support economic policy making in low-and lower-middle income countries and the PFTAC GFS capacity development project.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
Following the launch of the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Mongolia Regional Capacity Development Center (CCAMTAC) in February 2021, and in response to a request from the Azerbaijani authorities to support their statistical capacity development (CD) in government finance statistics (GFS), a series of technical assistance (TA) missions took place remotely (via Zoom meeting platform) during May 17−21 and July 22−August 4, 2021. Both missions were conducted by Mr. Roderick O’Mahony (GFS expert), who worked with the staff of the Ministry of Finance’s Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Development Center as the main counterparts. He also met with other relevant agencies, including the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ), the State Employment Agency, and the State Social Protection Fund.1
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The fragile security environment has improved following the attempt by armed groups to seize power at the turn of the year 2021. The reopening of the Douala-Bangui corridor reinvigorated activity and curbed inflationary pressures. The third Covid-19 wave is receding, but vaccination has been slow. President Touadéra has launched the Republican dialogue peace initiative alongside the Luanda Road Map spearheaded by neighboring countries. The surrender of a key rebel leader to the International Criminal Court represents a key step in the peace process. Donors have delayed disbursing budget support pending greater transparency in the government’s security-related spending. This poses substantial fiscal and social risks given the heavy reliance on budget support. The sharp deterioration in terms of trade, reflecting food and fuel price shocks, compounded by geo-political spillovers, will exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and further erode policy space.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The fragile security environment has improved following the attempt by armed groups to seize power at the turn of the year 2021. The reopening of the Douala-Bangui corridor reinvigorated activity and curbed inflationary pressures. The third Covid-19 wave is receding, but vaccination has been slow. President Touadéra has launched the Republican dialogue peace initiative alongside the Luanda Road Map spearheaded by neighboring countries. The surrender of a key rebel leader to the International Criminal Court represents a key step in the peace process. Donors have delayed disbursing budget support pending greater transparency in the government’s security-related spending. This poses substantial fiscal and social risks given the heavy reliance on budget support. The sharp deterioration in terms of trade, reflecting food and fuel price shocks, compounded by geo-political spillovers, will exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and further erode policy space.