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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This remote mission provided the authorities with advice in fiscal risk management. The mission covered three interrelated topics: (i) the Public Finance and Expenditure Management (PFEM) Law and fiscal risks oversight and management; (ii) the Stated-Owned Corporations (SOC); and (iii) the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). This report focuses especially on reforms that could be implemented during the life of the next IMF program.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted a heavy economic and social toll, amplifying the challenges of the armed conflict and fragility. Activity contracted sharply, and new external and fiscal financing needs emerged since the approval of the Rapid Credit Facility disbursement. President Ghani and Mr. Abdullah resolved the contested 2019 presidential election in mid-May, and peace negotiations between the government and Taliban started in September. The authorities are seeking renewed support from the international community for Afghanistan’s development and reforms. Donors remain committed but encourage reform implementation and combatting corruption. Aid is likely to decline in the medium term underscoring the need to advance to self-reliance.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. The disbursement will help meet the urgent fiscal and balance of payments needs stemming from the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, catalyze donor support, and shore up confidence. The pandemic is inflicting heavy damage on Afghanistan’s economy, which is expected to contract sharply in 2020, imperiling the livelihood of a significant segment of the population. The authorities are taking emergency measures to contain the pandemic and its immediate social and economic impact. Substantial donor financing is urgently needed to help Afghanistan cover these fiscal and external financing needs which could increase further if the pandemic and its economic impact intensify. Beyond the immediate response, the authorities are committed to safeguarding macroeconomic stability and promoting inclusive growth. The central bank continues to focus on price stability. The IMF stands ready to assist Afghanistan as it battles the pandemic and to support its economic reforms going forward.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper presents 2019 Article IV Consultation with Republic of Afghanistan and its Sixth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement. Despite difficult circumstances, the Afghan authorities have continued to demonstrate strong commitment to the economic program supported by the Extended Credit Facility arrangement. Given the uncertain outlook dominated by downside risks, policies should focus on maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability and putting the conditions in place for stronger and more inclusive growth, led by the private sector. The authorities have made progress with their self-reliance agenda, yet strong financial support from donors is needed to help Afghanistan stay on the path to greater prosperity. Fiscal policy should continue to target a broadly balanced budget, supported by fair and sustainable domestic revenue mobilization and strong financial support by donors. Resources should shift toward pro-growth and pro-poor outlays and create fiscal space to meet the country’s considerable development needs.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance paper assesses Islamic Republic of Afghanistan government’s finance statistics (GFS). The mission updated the AFMIS bridge tables to enable producing Budgetary Central Government data according to the GFSM 2014 classifications including the economic (object) and functional classifications, reviewed government debt compilation, assisted developing bridge tables for extrabudgetary units, and provided hands-on training for GFS compilers in compiling the data for the general government. Despite good outcomes, the capacity for GFS compilation remains slim and securing support of the management remains critical for both maintaining the current achievements and further improving the government financial data consistent with the GFSM 2014 methodology. Afghanistan has made good steps toward further improving GFS and starting to provide supplementary accrual information, while there have been issues with the quality of the source data. The mission suggests that a GFS Technical Working Group should be set up to coordinate the GFS reforms, address the issues in applying the GFSM 2014 methodology, and advise the Ministry of Finance management on important matters requiring attention.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Background: The three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for SDR 32.38 million (US$44.9 million, or 10 percent of quota) was approved on July 20, 2016. The first three reviews under the ECF were completed in May 2017, December 2017, and May 2018. The arrangement supports the government’s reform agenda—as outlined in the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF)—to lay the foundation for higher growth and job creation and aims to catalyze continued support from donors. Context: Violence swelled ahead of and during the October 20 parliamentary elections, but voter turnout was relatively strong despite severe operational challenges. Peace efforts have intensified, with the participation of the United States and regional powers. The poor security situation and electoral year uncertainties are undermining confidence and growth, and present risks to program implementation. A key focal point for this year is the Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan taking place on November 27–28, 2018. The conference aims to review reform progress, showcase the National Unity Government’s achievements, and secure continued donor support.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Afghanistan’s Third Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria (PCs). Program implementation through end-December 2017 was satisfactory, despite the challenging security situation and mounting political risks. All quantitative PCs and eight of the nine structural benchmarks were met. The end-April 2018 benchmark related to asset declarations by public officials was implemented with a short delay. The IMF staff supports the completion of the third review under the ECF arrangement and the authorities’ request for a modification of three PCs for June 2018.