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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

A year into the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the race between vaccine and virus entered a new phase in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the path to recovery in 2021 is expected to be long and divergent. The outlook will vary significantly across countries, depending on the pandemic’s path, vaccine rollouts, underlying fragilities, exposure to tourism and contact-intensive sectors, and policy space and actions. 2021 will be the year of policies that continue saving lives and livelihoods and promote recovery, while balancing the need for debt sustainability and financial resilience. At the same time, policymakers must not lose sight of the transformational challenges to build forward better and accelerate the creation of more inclusive, resilient, sustainable, and green economies. Regional and international cooperation will be key complements to strong domestic policies.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Request for a 42-Month Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

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.

Request for a 42-Month Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region and those in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with swift and stringent measures to mitigate its spread and impact but continue to face an uncertain and difficult environment. Oil exporters were particularly hard hit by a “double-whammy” of the economic impact of lockdowns and the resulting sharp decline in oil demand and prices. Containing the health crisis, cushioning income losses, and expanding social spending remain immediate priorities. However, governments must also begin to lay the groundwork for recovery and rebuilding stronger, including by addressing legacies from the crisis and strengthening inclusion.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

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. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper states Costa Rica’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has severely impacted Costa Rica with its large exposure to trade, tourism, and foreign direct investment. The global economic slowdown and the necessary containment measures have impacted growth and fiscal accounts and created an urgent balance of payments need. The IMF’s emergency financing under the RFI is expected to help support urgently needed public health and social spending measures, while addressing the balance of payments need. It will also catalyze support from other multilateral agencies, which will be critical to addressing the remaining financing needs. The authorities have taken timely, well-targeted measures to mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic. They introduced extensive containment measures, which have helped flatten the infection curve. In order to mitigate the economic and social impact of the crisis, they adopted a temporary moratorium on tax payments, social transfers to protect the most vulnerable, and monetary and regulatory measures to ease credit and liquidity conditions.
International Monetary Fund
In direct response to the COVID-19 crisis the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board has adopted some immediate enhancements to its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to enable the Fund to provide debt service relief for its poorest and most vulnerable members. The CCRT enables the IMF to deliver grants for debt relief benefiting eligible low-income countries in the wake of catastrophic natural disasters and major, fast-spreading public health emergencies.