PRGT-eligible members make considerable use of Fund concessional financing. Since 2010, 56 percent of Fund arrangements have involved a PRGT-facility.
This paper examines a number of issues raised by Executive Directors and the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) since the issuance to the Board of the June 2015 staff paper on enhancing the financial safety net for developing countries (IMF, 2015a).
This paper concludes that there is a need to clarify guidance in some areas pertaining to PRGT policies. This will be done through an early revision of the LIC Handbook, which is already underway. The paper does not propose changes to the Fund’s concessional facilities at this juncture. A comprehensive review of PRGT (Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust) resources and facilities is planned for 2018.
Precautionary arrangements: The Executive Board approved on February 2, 2015 a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) and an arrangement under the Standby Credit Facility (SCF), originally for 12 months, with combined access of SDR 488.52 million (90 percent of quota)1. The first reviews, focusing on the policy response to external shocks, were completed on September 16, 2015. On January 26, 2016, these arrangements were extended until March 15, 2016 to provide more time for implementing structural and fiscal measures. The authorities have treated both arrangements as precautionary. Performance under the current program. Although Kenya's macroeconomic performance remains robust, external shocks complicated achievement of some program's macroeconomic objectives. All end-September and continuous performance criteria (PCs) were met. Performance under the structural benchmarks was mixed.
This paper requests an extension of the 12-month Stand By Arrangement and the Standby Credit Facility Arrangement to obtain enough time to finalize fiscal measures for 2015/16 and implement structural measures under the program. Although at a slower-than-projected pace, the economy continued to expand robustly. Driven by public infrastructure spending, buoyant credit growth, and strong customer demand, real GDP is estimated to have grown by 5.6 percent in 2015. As per the staff's assessment based on recent data, performance under the current program remains broadly satisfactory. Staff fully supports the authorities' request for extensions of the arrangements through March 15, 2016.
This Selected Issues paper aims at identifying some of the main channels of transmission through which political instability feeds and foster fragility and provide an estimate of the “fragility gap” that haunts the Bissau-Guinean society. This paper argued that, until today, due to chronic political instability, Guinea-Bissau has been in a costly fragility trap. This analytical piece argues that the major factor behind Guinea-Bissau’s fragility has been the chronic political instability. It also uncovers some of the main transmission channels from political instability to fragility and provides simple estimates about the cost of instability. Estimates based on reasonable assumptions reveal that, considering only Guinea-Bissau’s post-war period, without chronic political instability real GDP per capita could have been at least two thirds higher than its 2013 level. This assessment shows the crucial importance of the security sector reform. It also shows that the current estimated cost of the security sector reform is modest in comparison, since it puts into perspective its monetary costs—which are easy to calculate and mostly frontloaded—vis-à-vis its wide and deep benefits, which are not as explicit and accrue over time.
Juliana Dutra Araujo, Mr. Antonio David, Carlos van Hombeeck, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
Low-income countries (LIDCs) are typically characterized by intermittent and very modest access
to private external funding sources. Motivated by recent developments in private flows to LIDCs
this paper makes two contributions: First, it constructs a new comprehensive dataset on gross
private capital flows with special focus on non-FDI flows in LIDCs. Concentrating on LIDCs and
more specifically on gross non-FDI private flows is intentionally aimed at closing a gap in
existing datasets where country coverage of developing economies is limited mainly to emerging
markets (EMs). Second, using the new data, it identifies several shifting patterns of gross non-FDI
private inflows to LIDCs. A surprising fact emerges: since the mid 2000's periods of surges in
gross non-FDI private inflows in LIDCs are broadly comparable to those of EMs. Moreover,
while gross non-FDI inflows to LIDCs are on average much lower than those to EMs, we show
that the LIDC top quartile gross non-FDI inflow is comparable to the EM median inflow and
converging to the EM top quartile inflow.
This Selected Issues paper on West African Economic and Monetary Union presents external stability assessment report. The current account deficit declined in 2014. Although gross international reserve coverage has increased slightly, part of the current account deficit has been financed by a decline in commercial banks’ net foreign assets. Contingent on the implementation of government’s consolidation plans, and helped by a favorable oil price outlook, the current account deficit would further gradually decline and be matched by enough financial inflows in the medium term. According to various metrics, the real exchange rate appears to be broadly aligned with fundamentals. International reserve coverage should increase to provide stronger buffers against immediate short-term risks. Structural competitiveness and investment efficiency improvements will be essential to ensure that the planned large investment programs translate into growth and export gains as well as increased private inflows into the region.
Following the approval of a new constitution in 2010, the authorities have embarked on important reforms including fiscal devolution, VAT reform, and the overhaul of the expenditure management framework. Supported by a three-year ECF, which expired in December 2013 with all six reviews completed, Kenya has consolidated macroeconomic stability. Growth has been robust, inflation contained, debt remained sustainable and reserve buffers increased (Tables 1a and 1b and Figures 1 and 2). This progress in a market-friendly environment has continued to attract the interest of foreign investors. As a result, Kenya is recognized as a frontier market increasingly integrated in global financial markets. A Eurobond debut issue of US$2 billion (the largest in SSA so far) took place successfully in June followed by a $750 million re-tap in December.
This Selected Issues paper on Senegal revisits the challenges of emergence by tapping on the experience of other countries across the world that became emerging economies in the past two decades. It then looks at the preconditions needed for growth acceleration in Senegal. The paper also discusses options for strengthening Senegal’s fiscal framework to support Plan Sénégal Emergent (PSE) implementation while keeping risks of debt distress low. It provides an assessment of Senegal’s external stability and explores how to improve the structure of the Senegalese economy to make it more competitive with more diversified exports. The paper describes the electricity problem as a major impediment to growth acceleration. Improved revenue performance and expenditure composition are critical for creating the fiscal space to support the PSE. There is an opportunity cost for development spending, as the economy still faces bottlenecks from high electricity costs and insufficient electricity production. The share of the population living below the poverty line and its exposure to shock remains unacceptably high.