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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on macro-critical issues related to governance and corruption in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Third-party indicators suggest that governance has been poor and corruption widespread in the country. Conducting an audit of the civil service and improving the transparency of its remuneration system, simplifying tax payment processes, and merging the activities of the numerous revenue agencies would boost public efficiency and improve the business environment. Contract enforcement and protection of property rights could be enhanced by insulating the courts from external influence. Limited information on the budget annexes and special accounts and little or no oversight by the central government, Parliament, and civil society, create scope for corruption. The multiplicity of special taxes and fees, some accruing to special accounts outside the Treasury, generate opportunities for corruption and informalization of economic activity. Despite some progress in strengthening public financial management, budget execution remains deficient. The government has formalized the four stages of the expenditure chain and introduced budget commitment plans to align expenditures with revenues.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

The Sixth Five Year Plan, as outlined in Bangladesh's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, targets strategic growth and employment. The medium-term macroeconomic framework plan entails the involvement of both the private and public sectors. Human resources development strategy programs reaching out to the poor and the vulnerable population, as well as environment, climate change, and disaster risk management, have been included in the plan. Managing regional disparities for shared growth and strategy for raising farm productivity and agricultural growth have been outlined. Diversifying exports and developing a dynamic manufacturing sector are all inclusive in the proposed plan.

International Monetary Fund
This paper presents the Joint Staff Advisory Note on Guinea-Bissau’s Second National Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP II) covering 2011–15. The PRSP II, adopted by the government in July 2011, provides the framework for the implementation of a comprehensive strategy aimed at consolidating macroeconomic stabilization and strengthening recent improvements in economic governance. Its successful implementation would help the country enhance its economic growth conditions, strengthen the rule of law, and accelerate progress toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Burcu Aydin
Will Ghana’s oil production from 2011 accelerate progress toward middle-income status, or will it retard gains in living standards through a possible "resource curse"? This paper examines the likelihood of "resource curse" effects, drawing on a dataset of 150 low and middle income countries from 1973 to 2008 using static and dynamic panel estimation techniques. Results confirm that resource rich countries in Ghana’s income range do experience slower growth than their more diversified peers, an effect that appears to be related to weaker governance. Provided that Ghana can preserve and improve its economic governance and also strengthen fiscal management, prospects look good for converting its oil wealth into sustained strong economic growth.
Zia Qureshi

The June 2008 issue tackles the crisis in financial markets in industrial countries from a number of angles. Articles look at the origins of the crisis in the subprime mortgage market in the United States and track its spillover into other markets. Then authors examine what can be done to prevent future crises. Other articles look at bank capital adequacy rules and Basel II, whether emerging markets and industrial economies are decoupling or converging, capital flows to low-income countries, efforts to achieve the MDGs, and currency intervention. Back to Basics looks at over-the-counter (OTC) markets and the People in Economics column profiles Jacques Polak. Picture This is on the digital divide.

International Monetary Fund
The Joint Staff Advisory Note report assesses that Maldives has achieved notable development progress through sound macroeconomic management, tourism development, and public service provision improvement under the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). Executive Directors emphasized the need to strengthen the fiscal policy framework, develop institutions, implement structural reforms and a realistic budget to mitigating risks, and ensure macroeconomic stability. Directors welcomed the Seventh National Development Plan, the new Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, and stressed the need for significant efforts to ensure the successful implementation of the economic development program.
Charles Karelis, Mr. Daniel C Hardy, Mohan Munasinghe, Anand Seth, Alan Greenspan, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Todd J. Moss, Mr. Calvin A McDonald, and Mr. Brian J. Aitken

'Global Governance: Who's in Charge?' examines the challenges—financial, health, environmental, and trade—facing the international community in the 21st century and asks whether today';s system of global governance is equipped to cope with them. The lead article asserts that the system that served as a model for much of the 20th century is out of date, and it explores what needs to be done to strengthen it. Other articles on this theme look at the recent U.S. subprime market crisis, the differences between financial crises of the 19th and 20th centuries and what future crises will look like, the need for a stronger system of multilateral trade, and how global health threats can be handled. 'People in Economics' profiles Michael Kremer; 'Picture This' describes the changing aid landscape; 'Country Focus' spotlights the United Arab Emirates; and 'Straight Talk' examines the impact of high food prices. Also in this issue, articles examine development in Africa, and 'backcasting' data in Latin America.

International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews the joint advice of the staffs of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP). This I-PRSP outlines the main areas envisaged to reduce poverty and the measures for the implementation of the full Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). The full PRSP could improve on the I-PRSP by building on its strength of inclusiveness, strengthening its policy focus, including the link between policy and resource use, and elaborating a clear framework for the coordination and monitoring of the strategy.
Conny Lotze

The IMF is working with governments and other international agencies to assess the financing needs for reconstruction in the areas devastated by the December 26 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, which killed more than 226,000 people and ravaged coastlines in a dozen countries. The full economic impact in the most affected countries—Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Thailand, and India—is still being calculated. The IMF has offered emergency assistance on the order of $1 billion (see box) and has sent teams to the region to evaluate financing and support needs in individual countries. “The ways in which we can help include providing advice and technical assistance in assessing the macro-economic impact and budgetary and balance of payments needs,” said IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato, who toured the worst-hit region of Aceh in northern Sumatra on January 7. Afterward de Rato said little could have prepared him for the visit to Aceh. “Entire cities and towns, and the lives lived in them, were simply washed away,” he said.

Ian S. McDonald

This paper describes the need to broaden the agenda for poverty reduction. The broadening of the agenda follows from a growing understanding that poverty is more than low income, a lack of education, and poor health. The poor are frequently powerless to influence the social and economic factors that determine their well being. The paper highlights that a broader definition of poverty requires a broader set of actions to fight it and increases the challenge of measuring poverty and comparing achievement across countries and over time.