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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.

Amine Hammadi, Marshall Mills, Nelson Sobrinho, Mr. Vimal V Thakoor, and Ricardo Velloso
Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) tend to lag those in most other regions in terms of governance and perceptions of corruption. Weak governance undermines economic performance through various channels, including deficiencies in government functions and distortions to economic incentives. It thus stands to reason that SSA countries could strengthen their economic performance by improving governance and reducing corruption. This paper estimates that strengthening governance and mitigating corruption in the region could be associated with large growth dividends in the long run. While the process would take considerable time and effort, moving the average SSA country governance level to the global average could increase the region’s GDP per capita growth by about 1-2 percentage points.

Abstract

This volume contains seven chapters that consider how fiscal policies can address women’s and girls’ disadvantages in education, health, employment, and financial well-being. Researchers from a joint collaboration between the International Monetary Fund and the UK’s Department for International Development presented papers at a 2016 international conference on gender budgeting at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington, DC, and detail the findings of their work here, which draws on published materials, a questionnaire sent to ministries of finance to all International Monetary Fund member countries, and interviews with country officials and international organizations that offer technical assistance to countries seeking to implement gender budgeting. They describe key gender budgeting efforts planning, allocating, and monitoring government expenditures and taxes to address gender inequality in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Canada, the Middle East and Central Asia, and the Pacific Islands and Caribbean.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper presents estimates of the fiscal revenue cost of conflict in Afghanistan, defined as the loss of government domestic revenue due to conflict. The loss of government revenue is an important component of the humanitarian costs of conflict. In Afghanistan, almost all security spending is funded by foreign grants, which will most likely be scaled back gradually in the event of peace. Hence, any fiscal peace dividend is likely to come principally from increased revenues, as reduced security spending will be mostly offset by reduced grants. Nevertheless, size and the statistical significance of the results suggest that the order of magnitude of the estimate, around $1 billion, is robust. By way of counterfactual, these results imply a sizeable potential fiscal dividend for Afghanistan should peace, or at least a significant reduction in violence, materialize. Several country-specific factors, including conflict and a landlocked geography, have held back an expansion in Afghanistan’s trade which could increase the country’s economic resilience. Improving its external connectivity is a key factor to unlocking its trade potential including leveraging its natural resources.
International Monetary Fund
This Joint Staff Advisory Note discusses Afghanistan’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper's annual progress report. Afghanistan has experienced a number of extraordinary challenges that delayed its implementation. The security situation deteriorated markedly and has been dominated by the cross-border Taliban insurgency. Growth started to recover from a devastating drought. In May 2008, food and fuel prices peaked, leading to high inflation and pressure on the budget for additional fuel and food subsidies. These threats to macroeconomic stability have been accompanied by a period of political uncertainty for Afghanistan’s leadership.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses key findings of the First Annual Report (2008/09) on the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS). The economic and security situation was particularly challenging during the first year of ANDS implementation (1387 or 2008/09) owing to rapid increases in food and fuel prices and sharply increased violence in some provinces. Both imports and exports have been increasing at high rates. A major concern continues to be slow progress in meeting revenue targets and the ability to effectively control spending.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper reports a brief description of the IMF and its activities, focusing in particular on its technical assistance (TA) activities. The report then describes in greater detail the Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA)—including its objectives, size, scope, and use, as well as assessments of its activities, with a focus on fiscal year (FY) 2008—and the TA activities and scholarship programs that it finances. The IMF finances technical assistance for its member countries, devoting some 25 percent of its annual operating budget to TA work and training. Although most technical assistance is financed through internal resources, external financing from bilateral and multilateral partners has been increasing over the past few years and constitutes an important pillar. The responsibilities of the Regional Office in Tokyo include collaborative efforts between the IMF and Japan that strengthen economic prospects in the Asia-Pacific region, and also include support of various regional policy forums, such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Pacific Islands Forum.

International Monetary Fund
Although Afghanistan has made significant gains over the years, vulnerabilities remain. The economic program Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) has been developed to sustain democracy, reduce poverty, and improve growth. ANDS, an important milestone in the rebuilding and development of Afghanistan, serves as its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and uses the pillars, principles, and benchmarks of the Afghanistan Compact as a foundation to achieve its MDGs. It has given high priority to the security sector for implementing security policies and strategies and also for building an Afghan National Army for the country's security.