International Monetary Fund. Office of Budget and Planning
Amidst the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, the Fund faces twin challenges. Signs of early crisis recovery are uneven across countries, and many face daunting crisis legacies. At the same time, longer term challenges from climate change, digitalization and increasing divergence within and between countries demand stepped up effort by the Fund within its areas of expertise and in partnership with others. FY 22-24 budget framework. Considering these challenges and following a decade of flat real budgets, staff will propose a structural augmentation for consideration by fall 2021 to be implemented over two to three years beginning in FY 23. Recognizing the importance of ongoing fiscal prudence, the budget would remain stable thereafter on a real basis at a new, higher level. FY 22 administrative budget. The proposed FY 22 budget sustains crisis response and provides incremental resources for long-term priorities within the flat real budget envelope. The budget is built on extensive reprioritization; savings, including from modernization; and a proposed temporary increase in the carry forward ceiling to address crisis needs during the FY 22 to FY 24 period. Capital budget. Large-scale business modernization programs continue to be rolled out, strengthening the agility and efficiency of the Fund’s operations. In response to the shift towards cloud-based IT solutions, staff propose a change in the budgetary treatment of these expenses. Investment in facilities will focus on timely updates, repairs, and modernization, preparing for the post-crisis Fund where virtual engagement and a new hybrid office environment play a larger role. Budget sustainability. The FY 22–24 medium-term budget framework, including assumptions for a material augmentation, is consistent with a projected surplus in the Fund’s medium-term income position and with continued progress towards the precautionary balance target for coming years. Budget risks. In the midst of a global crisis, risks to the budget remain elevated and above risk acceptance levels, including from uncertainty around the level of demand for Fund programs and ensuing staffing needs, as well as future donor funding for CD. Enterprise risk management continues to be strengthened with this budget.
Using a panel of 101 low- and middle-income countries with data covering the period 1980-2012, this paper applies various econometric approaches that deal with endogeneity issues to assess the impact of food price shocks on socio-political instability once fiscal policy and remittances have been accounted for. It focuses on import prices to reflect the vulnerability of importer countries / net-buyer households to food price shocks. The paper finds that import food price shocks strongly increase the likelihood of socio-political instability. This effect is greater in countries with lower levels of private credit and income per capita. On the other hand, while remittances seem to dampen the adverse effect of import food price shocks on socio-political instability in almost all countries, the mitigating role of fiscal policy is significant only in countries with low-levels of private credit.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on Sudan provides a first stock-taking of the scale, main transmission channels and potential costs of poor governance and corruption in Sudan and offers preliminary recommendations. A large body of literature and country analyses confirm that weak governance and corruption undermine economic growth, amplify income inequality and erode public trust in the institutions. According to international agencies and existing literature, Sudan has scored very poorly on compliance with rule of law best practices in the past. Effective implementation of preventive measures is important; particularly in relation to politically exposed persons. Transparency on beneficial ownership of legal persons and arrangements to prevent their misuse for laundering the proceeds of corruption are necessary. Transparency, accountability, and comprehensive communication should be the backbone of governance and anti-corruption reforms in each sector. Rationalizing tax exemptions and phasing out tax holidays would strengthen governance while boosting fiscal revenues.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This evaluation assesses the IMF’s work on countries in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS), addressing both (i) its engagement through surveillance, lending, and capacity development and (ii) the frameworks and procedures for its engagement. It finds that the IMF has provided unique and essential services to FCS to restore macroeconomic stability and rebuild core macroeconomic institutions as prerequisites for state building, playing a role in which no other institution can take its place. In this critical role, it is broadly acknowledged to have had a high impact. While the IMF has provided relatively little direct financing, it has catalyzed donor support through its assessment of a country’s economic policies and prospects. Notwithstanding this positive assessment, the IMF’s overall approach to its FCS work seems to have been conflicted. Not only has it failed consistently to make hard choices necessary to achieve full impact from its engagement in countries where success requires patient and dedicated attention over the long haul, but past efforts have not been sufficiently bold or adequately sustained, and the staff has tended to revert to treating fragile states using IMF-wide norms, rather than as countries needing special attention. The report proposes six recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the IMF’s FCS work: (i) to issue a statement of high-level commitment to FCS work for IMFC endorsement; (ii) to create an effective institutional mechanism with the mandate and authority to coordinate and champion such work; (iii) to develop comprehensive strategies for individual FCS; (iv) to adapt its lending toolkit to deliver more sustained financial support to FCS; (v) to take practical steps to increase the impact of its capacity development support to FCS; and (vi) to take steps to incentivize high-quality and experienced staff to work on individual FCS and find pragmatic ways of increasing field presence in high risk locations.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic conditions in Sudan have been challenging since the secession of South Sudan in 2011 and the loss of the bulk of oil production and exports. The authorities have implemented partial policy adjustments to help stabilize the economy and reestablish growth, most recently by allowing for greater exchange rate flexibility and reducing fuel subsidies. The current account deficit (cash basis) is expected to decline by 3.25 percentage points to 2.75 percent of GDP in 2017. Data for the first half of 2017 indicate weaker real domestic demand, partly offset by a strengthening contribution from net exports.
This report reviews the IMF’s effort to build fiscal capacity in fragile states. It presents case studies on IMF technical assistance (TA) and capacity development in the fiscal area, provided by its Fiscal Affairs Department in collaboration with the Legal Department, in countries including Afghanistan, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, South Sudan, and Timor-Leste. The details in the case studies in various areas of fiscal policy management shed light on country-specific characteristics, how well IMF TA helped countries address fiscal capacity in the past, and lessons learned that could improve TA strategies and delivery in the future.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that South Sudan’s economic performance has been mixed in recent years. Real GDP growth has displayed high volatility, the result of changes in oil and agricultural production. Inflation rose in an initial period of economic instability in 2011–12 but was contained in 2013–14 thanks to fiscal and monetary restraint and lower food prices. Serious challenges remain, including distortions in the foreign exchange market and in budget execution, lower international oil prices, and subdued oil production. As a result, financing the budget for FY2014/15 is challenging and will likely require policy decisions given the otherwise potentially adverse impact on economic stability and inflation.
Economic growth is estimated to have moderated further in 2010 to about 5 percent, reflecting slower growth in both the oil and non-oil sectors. The overall commitment fiscal deficit for 2010 is now estimated at 2.7 percent of GDP, about 0.6 percentage point of GDP below the program target. Monetary policy was expansionary in the first half of 2010, but was subsequently tightened. The current account deficit narrowed during the first three quarters of 2010 largely driven by an increase in oil exports.
Sudan’s 2006 Article IV Consultation reports that growth has been robust, inflation has been kept at a single-digit level, and important reforms have been undertaken. There has been progress with financial sector reforms and trade liberalization, and the managed floating exchange rate regime has been working well. Despite an increase in oil revenues, the fiscal space of the central government will be constrained because of the transfers required by the peace agreement and decentralization.
This paper examines Sudan’s 2005 Article IV Consultation and the Final Review of the 2004 and 2005 Staff-Monitored Program (SMP). Between 2001 and 2004, the economy of Sudan grew at an average rate of 6.4 percent per year, and the non-oil sector expanded at an annual rate of 5.3 percent. The program for 2005 is based on prudent financial policies. The program will need to be adjusted by midyear to reflect additional financing arising from higher oil prices and aid and previously unfunded expenditures on social and infrastructure projects.