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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The authorities have reacted to the COVID-19 crisis in an appropriate manner, including through increased spending on health and a rollout of the vaccination program. Nevertheless, the deterioration of socio-economic indicators during the pandemic could create scars that would significantly lower growth if left unaddressed.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Afghanistan is confronting the Covid-19 pandemic and its socioeconomic fallout amid rising insecurity. Supported by donors, the authorities boosted health and social spending to cushion the pandemic’s impact on the vulnerable. Policy measures kept the output contraction to 2 percent in 2020, but poverty rose and the fiscal deficit widened. Political uncertainty has risen as the peace talks between the government and Taliban stalled and the U.S., NATO, and allies announced the withdrawal of their troops by September. In a strong sign of support for Afghanistan’s development and reforms, donors pledged some US$12 billion civilian grants over 2021–24 at the Geneva conference in November 2020.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Cabo Verdean economy is in recession as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic that has shut down the tourism and transport sectors and significantly affected the rest of the economy. The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise with concentration in the largest island, though the recovery rate is high. The economic outlook remains highly uncertain and dependent upon the duration of the pandemic, the global economic recovery, and the authorities’ ability to support the expected economic recovery through the appropriate policies and reforms. Legislative and presidential elections are scheduled for April and October, respectively.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper presents Solomon Island’s Requests for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument and Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. In order to address the pandemic, the Solomon Islands’ authorities have taken measures to prevent the entry of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), to increase health and containment spending, and to provide targeted support for vulnerable households and businesses. IMF financing will help fill immediate financing needs and catalyze additional financing from its development partners to support the COVID-19 response. The authorities’ immediate policy response has focused on strong and timely containment measures to limit the risk of a local outbreak while reprioritizing spending toward health care. They have also adopted a fiscal stimulus package with measures targeted at providing social assistance, protecting jobs and incomes and stabilizing the domestic economy. Beyond the immediate response to the external shock, the authorities should remain committed to policies that promote inclusive growth and resilience while containing external pressures, protecting financial stability and preserving fiscal sustainability.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper examines Republic of Uzbekistan’s Requests for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is significantly impacting Uzbekistan’s economy, reducing growth, and creating additional external and fiscal financing needs. IMF financial assistance under the RCF and the RFI, along with support from other multilateral institutions, will help cover Uzbekistan’s fiscal and balance of payments needs and mitigate the impact on its foreign exchange reserves. It will also provide resources to support increased crisis spending for healthcare, social protection, and public support for affected firms and households. Uzbekistan aims to continue implementing its structural reform agenda, to complete the transformation to a modern, open market economy, and to improve governance and public management. It has committed to safeguard the use and improve the efficiency of its public resources by increasing transparency and accountability.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper analyzes Uganda’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. The Ugandan economy is severely affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In order to contain the impact of the pandemic, the authorities have increased health spending, strengthened social protection to the most vulnerable, and enhanced their support to the private sector. The Bank of Uganda has appropriately reduced interest rates and provided liquidity to safeguard financial stability, while maintaining exchange rate flexibility. The weakening economic conditions emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic have put significant pressures on revenue collection, expenditure, reserves and the exchange rate, creating urgent large external and fiscal financing needs. The IMF continues to monitor Uganda’s situation closely and stands ready to provide policy advice and further support as needed. The authorities have also committed to put in place targeted transparency and accountability measures to ensure the appropriate use of emergency financing. The IMF’s emergency financial support under the RCF, along with the additional donor financing it is expected to help catalyze, will help address Uganda’s urgent balance of payments and budget support needs.
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.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Niger’s Requests for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility and for Rephasing of Access Under the Extended Credit Facility. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is inflicting significant damage on Niger’s economy at a time when the government is already faced with the deteriorating security situation across the Sahel region. A first local infection was reported on March 19, 2020 and a state of emergency was declared on March 27, 2020. The authorities adopted a comprehensive response plan, comprising health care measures and steps to alleviate the social and economic fallout from the crisis. The 5th program review was concluded on January 8, 2019. Performance has since been mixed. Difficulties to reliably recalibrate program parameters while the global COVID-19 crisis is still unfolding preclude the conduct of the 6th program review on the regular schedule. As a result, the authorities previously requested an extension of the program and now request rephasing the final disbursement due to the delay.