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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Iraq's socio-economic fragilities have been severely aggravated by the pandemic and the sharp decline in oil revenues, which arrived on the heels of widespread social unrest and political instability. The health system’s limited capacity has been strained, while the fiscal position has become untenable as oil revenues declined sharply to a level that barely covers the government’s large wage and pension bills. Although the number of new infections declined recently, Iraq registered the second-highest COVID-related fatalities in the region, and the fiscal response to the pandemic has been one of the lowest. A six-month political paralysis preceding the formation of the government in May 2020 and plans to hold early parliamentary elections in mid-2021 have been weighing on political support for reforms. Risks of social unrest, geopolitical tensions, and insecurity remain elevated.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
On September 30, 2020, the IMF Executive Board approved a 27-month arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with exceptional access (SDR 4,615 million, 661 percent of quota, about $6.5 billion) to help Ecuador restore macroeconomic stability and pursue the unfinished structural agenda from the previous program. High frequency indicators point to improvements in economic activity after bottoming out in Q2, while oil prices have been declining relative to earlier assumptions, leaving the macroeconomic outlook broadly unchanged over the medium term.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having far-reaching consequences for the global economy. Measures to contain the spread of the virus have led to sharp declines in economic activity across the globe, particularly in 2020Q2. The hardest hit sectors have been those requiring intensive human contact, such as tourism, transportation, services, and construction, while, in general, IT-intensive activities have fared better. The economic contraction is most significant in advanced economies. The GCC countries face a double impact from the coronavirus and lower oil prices. GCC authorities have implemented a range of appropriate measures to mitigate the economic damage, including fiscal packages, relaxation of monetary and macroprudential rules, and the injection of liquidity into the banking system, and there are recent signs of improvement. Low oil prices have caused a sharp deterioration of external and fiscal balances, and fiscal strains are evident in countries with higher debt levels.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.


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. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This chapter presents Ecuador’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) and Cancellation of Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Ecuador is facing urgent and immediate balance of payment (BOP) needs driven by the sharp propagation of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak—Ecuador is one of the hardest hit countries in Latin America—a plummeting of oil prices, and a dramatic collapse of global demand. In the near term, the authorities have taken significant measures to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the socio-economic impact. Containment measures include the closing of schools and universities, public spaces and noncritical commercial activities, halting public transport, and imposing a nationwide curfew. Additional support from other external partners will be required and critical to close the remaining financing gap and ease budget constraints. The RFI will help Ecuador finance the much-needed health and social assistance spending and catalyze financing from other multilateral financial institutions.