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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is struggling to navigate an unprecedented health and economic crisis—one that, in just a few months, has jeopardized decades of hard-won development gains and upended the lives and livelihoods of millions.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This chapter presents the point of view and ideas of Sabina Alkire, an economist. Alkire wants the Multidimensional Poverty Index to be part of a data revolution to guide the fight against poverty. According to Alkire, learning to meditate soothed away what she describes as the temper tantrums of her childhood. The chapter also highlights the fact that an index is only as good as its underlying data, and in emerging market economies that quality is often inadequate. The quest for better poverty metrics coincides with growing doubts about the ability of conventional statistics, especially GDP, to gauge economic growth in the digital economy, let alone well-being, welfare, and environmental sustainability.
Yasemin Bal Gunduz, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, Ms. Burcu Hacibedel, Ms. Linda Kaltani, Ms. Vera V Kehayova, Mr. Chris Lane, Mr. Christian Mumssen, Miss Nkunde Mwase, and Mr. Joseph Thornton

Abstract

This paper aims to assess the economic impact of the IMF’s support through its facilities for low-income countries. It relies on two complementary econometric analyses: the first investigates the longer-term impact of IMF engagement—primarily through successive medium-term programs under the Extended Credit Facility and its predecessors (and more recently the Policy Support Instrument)—on economic growth and a range of other indicators and socioeconomic outcomes; the second focuses on the role of IMF shock-related financing—through augmentations of Extended Credit Facility arrangements and short-term and emergency financing instruments—on short-term macroeconomic performance.

Burcu Aydin
Will Ghana’s oil production from 2011 accelerate progress toward middle-income status, or will it retard gains in living standards through a possible "resource curse"? This paper examines the likelihood of "resource curse" effects, drawing on a dataset of 150 low and middle income countries from 1973 to 2008 using static and dynamic panel estimation techniques. Results confirm that resource rich countries in Ghana’s income range do experience slower growth than their more diversified peers, an effect that appears to be related to weaker governance. Provided that Ghana can preserve and improve its economic governance and also strengthen fiscal management, prospects look good for converting its oil wealth into sustained strong economic growth.
Petia Topalova
This paper uses the 1991 Indian trade liberalization to measure the impact of trade liberalization on poverty, and to examine the mechanisms underpinning this impact. Variation in sectoral composition across districts and liberalization intensity across production sectors allows a difference-in-difference approach. Rural districts, in which production sectors more exposed to liberalization were concentrated, experienced slower decline in poverty and lower consumption growth. The impact of liberalization was most pronounced among the least geographically mobile, at the bottom of the income distribution, and in Indian states where inflexible labor laws impeded factor reallocation across sectors.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

What is the human cost of the global economic crisis? This year’s Global Monitoring Report, The MDGs after the Crisis, examines the impact of the worst recession since the Great Depression on poverty and human development outcomes in developing countries. Although the recovery is under way, the impact of the crisis will be lasting and immeasurable. The impressive precrisis progress in poverty reduction will slow, particularly in low-income countries in Africa. No household in developing countries is immune. Gaps will persist to 2020. In 2015, 20 million more people in Sub-Saharan Africa will be in extreme poverty and 53 million more people globally. Even households above the $1.25-a-day poverty line in higher-income developing countries are coping by buying cheaper food, delaying other purchases, reducing visits to doctors, working longer hours, or taking multiple jobs. The crisis will also have serious costs on human development indicators: • 1.2 million more children under age five and 265,000 more infants will die between 2009 and 2015. • 350,000 more students will not complete primary education in 2015. • 100 million fewer people will have access to safe drinking water in 2015 because of the crisis. History tells us that if we let the recovery slide and allow the crisis to lead to widespread domestic policy failures and institutional breakdowns in poor countries, the negative impact on human development outcomes, especially on children and women, will be disastrous. The international financial institutions and international community responded strongly and quickly to the crisis, but more is needed to sustain the recovery and regain the momentum in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Developing countries will also need to implement significant policy reforms and strengthen institutions to improve the efficiency of service delivery in the face of fiscal constraints. Unlike previous crises, however, this one was not caused by domestic policy failure in developing countries. So better development outcomes will also hinge on a rapid global economic recovery that improves export conditions, terms-oftrade, and affordable capital flows—as well as meeting aid commitments to low-income countries. Global Monitoring Report 2010, seventh in this annual series, is prepared jointly by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It provides a development perspective on the global economic crisis and assesses the impact on developing countries—their growth, poverty reduction, and other MDGs. Finally, it sets out priorities for policy responses, both by developing countries and by the international community.