Mr. Bjoern Rother, Mr. Sebastian Sosa, Majdi Debbich, Chiara Castrovillari, and Ervin Prifti
The global food crisis remains a major challenge. Food insecurity fueled by widely experienced increases in the cost of living has become a growing concern especially in low-income countries, even if price pressures on global food markets have softened somewhat since the onset of Russia’s war in Ukraine in February 2022. Targeted assistance to the most vulnerable households combined with policy measures to support trade and agriculture systems, including to better cope with climate shocks, can help countries withstand the fallout of the ongoing food crisis while building longer-term resilience. The IMF, working in close cooperation with other international organizations, has continued to contribute to international efforts to alleviate food insecurity by providing policy advice, capacity development, and financial support through Upper Credit Tranche Arrangements and the new Food Shock Window. New commitments to countries particularly affected by the global food crisis total $13.2 billion since February 2022, of which $3.7 billion has been disbursed as of March 2023.
Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, Ms. Yan M Sun, Mrs. Nujin Suphaphiphat, Mr. Andrew J Swiston, Mr. Robert Tchaidze, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, Valentina Flamini, Ms. Laure Redifer, and Mr. Harald Finger
This paper examines water challenges, a growing global concern with adverse economic and social consequences, and discusses economic policy instruments. Water subsidies provided through public utilities are estimated at about $456 billion or 0.6 percent of global GDP in 2012. The paper suggests that getting economic incentives right, notably by reforming water pricing, can go a long way towards encouraging more efficient water use and supporting needed investment, while enabling policies that protect the poor. It also discusses pricing reform options and emphasizes an integrated and holistic approach to manage water, going beyond the water sector itself. The IMF can play a helpful role in ensuring that macroeconomic policies are conducive to sound water management.