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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

IMF Country Report No. 23/329

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Due to supportive fiscal policies, the economy recovered strongly in 2021, with real GDP growing 7.9 percent. However, a domestic outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown restrictions imposed in the first half of 2022 along with a severe drought dampened economic activities. With the reopening of borders in August 2022, GDP growth is expected to increase from an estimated 1.2 percent in 2022 to 2.5 percent in 2023. Inflation has picked up recently due to the recovery in domestic demand, supply shortages, and elevated commodity prices and freight costs. Risks to the outlook are mainly on the downside.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

1. Kiribati’s remote location, infrastructure gap, and susceptibility to climate change pose challenges for economic growth and development. The country’s low-lying atolls are vulnerable to rising sea levels, storm surges, coastal erosion, and saltwater intrusion. Higher ocean surface temperatures may disrupt tuna fisheries—the country’s largest economic resource—with a direct impact on fiscal revenues, the current account, and growth. Infrastructure deficits in utilities, transport, and communications compound already challenging constraints imposed by distance and dispersion, limiting the development of the private sector, and raising the country’s reliance on imports, especially for food and fuel. There is only one commercial bank, ANZ Kiribati, and the Australian dollar is used as legal tender. Kiribati ranked 136 out of 191 countries in the 2021 Human Development Index, suggesting significant development gaps.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

This paper reviews the development and sustainability of Kiribati’s fishery industry, and examines the literature on the marine protected areas (MPAs) and the impact of different fishery management regimes on sustainability. The note also discusses the recent development of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA). Over time, sustainability of Kiribati’s fisheries has improved, but more could be done to ensure sustainable fishing.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

IMF Country Report No. 23/226

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Kiribati has made significant progress in promoting gender equality in many aspects including in health indicators and access to education. However, gender inequalities in labor force participation, living standards, and legal equity persist. This paper illustrates how improvement in gender equality, including female legal equity, could help support growth. Policies to address gender gaps could include strengthening gender equality in the legal framework, introducing gender budgeting and fiscal policy reforms, and developing gender-disaggregated data collection for better monitoring.