The coronavirus crisis has stiffened debt and development-related headwinds that had become strong even before 2020. Sustaining development while maintaining debt sustainability has been made harder by the protracted effects of the pandemic on public finances, earnings and employment, and human capital accumulation of vulnerable populations. The fiscal support programs financed by public debt provided relief and saved lives and livelihoods. But debt-induced uncertainty can now dampen investment and growth, especially given rising global interest rates. Bigger debt servicing burdens will reduce available fiscal space for development and stabilization and growing sovereign debt financing needs can crowd out domestic investment. Over-indebtedness can adversely affect economic development through many channels—"debt overhang,” “fiscal space,” “crowding out” and increased crisis risk —making countries vulnerable to abrupt changes in market sentiment, jeopardizing both stability and growth.
This paper provides the first review of the adequacy of PRGT finances since the comprehensive reform of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) in July 2021. It describes the lending response to the unprecedented pandemic-related demand; updates the PRGT demand scenarios and the estimates of the longer-term PRGT resource needs; reports on progress with the first stage of the two-stage PRGT funding strategy approved in July 2021; and outlines recent developments in the various debt relief initiatives and their status.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
Since the 2021 Annual Meetings, the IEO has made considerable progress with three ongoing evaluations, while two management implementation plans (MIPs) to follow up on recommendations from previous evaluations have been approved by the Board. In addition, to mark its twentieth birthday, the IEO organized a virtual conference to reflect on experience from its second decade and consider future challenges. We have also contributed to the ongoing work on institutional integrity at the IMF, drawing on a stocktaking of material contained in past evaluations and are considering additional work on these issues as we select two new evaluation topics later this year.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This report provides an overview of recent developments in the implementation of the Fund’s Transparency Policy, as required by the Executive Board. It covers documents considered by the Board in 2020 and their respective publication status up to June 2021. To provide some perspective on trends, it compares the implementation of the Fund’s Transparency Policy on the 2020 documents with preceding years.
The IMF’s capacity development (CD) information dissemination policy needs to adapt to a new landscape. The Fund is providing more CD and producing greater and more diverse types of CD-related information. Meanwhile, the external landscape has also evolved, as members, partners, and other CD providers increasingly expect greater transparency and access to information. This paper sets out envisaged reforms to further widen the dissemination and publication of CD information.
Precautionary balances are a key element of the Fund’s multilayered framework to mitigate financial risks. Overall financial risks remain elevated but have not increased significantly since the last review. Staff proposes to leave the medium-term target of SDR 25 billion, and the minimum floor of SDR 15 billion, unchanged at this time. With the projected increase in lending income, the pace of reserve accumulation is expected to remain adequate relative to the medium-term indicative target. The paper also reviews policy factors discussed in recent Board meetings that affect the level and accumulation of reserves.