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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Kenya has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite a forceful policy response by the authorities, the socio-economic impact has been significant. The shock has also exacerbated the country’s pre-existing fiscal vulnerabilities, pushing Kenya into high risk of debt distress. While the economy is now recovering, fiscal and balance-of-payments financing needs remain sizable over the medium term.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is struggling to navigate an unprecedented health and economic crisis—one that, in just a few months, has jeopardized decades of hard-won development gains and upended the lives and livelihoods of millions.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is struggling to navigate an unprecedented health and economic crisis—one that, in just a few months, has jeopardized decades of hard-won development gains and upended the lives and livelihoods of millions.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is struggling to navigate an unprecedented health and economic crisis—one that, in just a few months, has jeopardized decades of hard-won development gains and upended the lives and livelihoods of millions.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is struggling to navigate an unprecedented health and economic crisis—one that, in just a few months, has jeopardized decades of hard-won development gains and upended the lives and livelihoods of millions.

Delphine Prady, Herve Tourpe, Sonja Davidovic, and Soheib Nunhuck
During the 2020 pandemic, the majority of countries have provided income support to households at an unprecedented speed and scale. Social distancing measures and the large penetration of mobile phones in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) have encouraged government-to-person (G2P) transfers through mobile platforms. This paper presents a comprehensive framework for sustainable money solutions in support of social assistance. The framework consists of eight building blocks that may help policymakers i) take stock and assess emergency fixes taken to scale up mobile money in a crisis context and ii) develop sustainable long-term solutions for mobile G2P transfers.
Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Ulric Eriksson von Allmen, Ms. Amina Lahreche, Purva Khera, Ms. Sumiko Ogawa, Majid Bazarbash, and Ms. Kimberly Beaton
Technology is changing the landscape of the financial sector, increasing access to financial services in profound ways. These changes have been in motion for several years, affecting nearly all countries in the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has created new opportunities for digital financial services to accelerate and enhance financial inclusion, amid social distancing and containment measures. At the same time, the risks emerging prior to COVID-19, as digital financial services developed, are becoming even more relevant.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses the Republic of Kenya’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is taking a serious toll on the Kenyan economy, significantly reducing growth, creating fiscal and external financing needs. It is important that the authorities resume their fiscal consolidation plans to reduce macroeconomic vulnerabilities once the crisis abates. The pandemic has impacted nearly all facets of the economy—particularly tourism, transport, and trade—and led to urgent balance of payments and fiscal financing needs. Emergency financing under the RCF will deliver liquidity support to help Kenya cover its balance of payments gap this year. It will provide much-needed resources for fiscal interventions to safeguard public health and support households and firms affected by the crisis. It will also catalyze necessary financing from other donors. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has taken various measures to maintain enough liquidity in the financial sector. It should continue to stand ready to further support the economy and the financial sector’s health, as necessary, while ensuring that policy decisions are data driven. The CBK should also continue to allow the exchange rate to act as a shock absorber.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis that threatens to throw the region off its stride, reversing the encouraging development progress of recent years. Furthermore, by exacting a heavy human toll, upending livelihoods, and damaging business and government balance sheets, the crisis threatens to retard the region’s growth prospects in the years to come. Previous crises tended to impact affect countries in the region differentially, but no country will be spared this time.

Mr. Markus Haacker and Mr. Gonzalo Salinas
Using available data on the distribution of HIV/AIDS prevalence across population groups for four sub-Saharan African countries and transposing this information to household income and expenditure surveys, we simulate the impact of HIV/AIDS on poverty and inequality. We find that the epidemic lowers average income and increases poverty, and that the jump in poverty is larger than expected from the fall in average income. This disproportionate increase in poverty reflects the large share of the population living on the threshold of poverty and the higher HIV prevalence rates in those segments of the population.