On October 30, 2020, the IMF’s Executive Board reviewed the adequacy of the Fund’s precautionary balances. Precautionary balances, comprising the Fund’s general and special reserves and the Special Contingent Account (SCA-1), are one element of the IMF’s multi-layered framework for managing financial risks. These balances provide a buffer to protect the Fund against potential losses, resulting from credit, income, and other financial risks. This review of the adequacy of the Fund’s precautionary balances took place on the standard two-year cycle, although it was delayed by a few months to allow for an assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Fund financial risks. In conducting the review, the Executive Board applied the rules-based framework agreed in 2010.
This paper reports on the Fund’s income position for FY 2020 following the closing of the Fund’s accounts for the financial year and completion of the external audit. Net operational income was about SDR 1.4 billion, slightly higher than estimated in the April supplement, mainly reflecting higher investment income. However, the unrealized pension-related adjustment in FY 2020, stemming mainly from the actuarial remeasurement of staff retirement plan assets and liabilities, was larger than previously estimated and more than offset the Fund’s net operational income, contributing to an overall net loss of about SDR 1.4 billion for the year.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Soon after reaching the HIPC Decision Point and embarking on a new IMFsupported program aimed at supporting the implementation of the authorities’ National Development Plan and lifting growth, Somalia was hit by a triple shock of flooding, desert locusts, and, importantly, the coronavirus pandemic. Prompt action by the authorities and support from the international community has helped mitigate the impact on peoples’ lives and livelihoods, however, these shocks have had a significant impact on economic activity, exports, and domestic fiscal revenues.
Using a panel of 101 low- and middle-income countries with data covering the period 1980-2012, this paper applies various econometric approaches that deal with endogeneity issues to assess the impact of food price shocks on socio-political instability once fiscal policy and remittances have been accounted for. It focuses on import prices to reflect the vulnerability of importer countries / net-buyer households to food price shocks. The paper finds that import food price shocks strongly increase the likelihood of socio-political instability. This effect is greater in countries with lower levels of private credit and income per capita. On the other hand, while remittances seem to dampen the adverse effect of import food price shocks on socio-political instability in almost all countries, the mitigating role of fiscal policy is significant only in countries with low-levels of private credit.