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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The macroeconomic outlook has worsened amid a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, higher commodity prices and social unrest, rooted in widening inequality and a lack of opportunities for the youth. The COVID-19 vaccination campaign was launched in February but has so far covered less than 5 percent of Senegal’s population. The President announced in early April an emergency program for youth employment and economic insertion amounting to 3 percent of GDP, spread evenly over 2021–23.
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.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Uzbekistan embarked on an ambitious reform path in 2017, starting to liberalize its economy after years of state control. Incomes are still relatively low compared to other emerging economies. Uzbekistan entered the COVID-19 crisis with relatively strong macro-economic fundamentals.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The pandemic aggravated Tunisia’s long-standing vulnerabilities stemming from persistent fiscal and external imbalances, rising debt, and contingent liabilities from inefficient state-owned enterprises. The crisis is expected to induce the largest contraction in real GDP since independence. The authorities’ targeted response together with higher outlays on wages widened the fiscal deficit. A second Covid-19 wave is underway. The authorities are securing 500,000 doses to start a first campaign of vaccinations in February and are aiming to secure more doses to vaccinate half of the population starting in April–May. Staff expects GDP growth to rebound modestly in 2021, but it could take years before activity returns to pre-crisis levels, especially if large imbalances were not addressed and key reforms delayed. Downside risks dominate and recent protests highlight the level of social tensions, aggravated by Covid-19 restrictions, and particularly among the youth.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Kosovo has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite policy support, economic activity is estimated to have fallen 6 percent in 2020 on account of the combined effect of strict domestic containment measures and international travel restrictions. The fiscal deficit increased to 7.7 percent of GDP, given the large fall in tax revenues and the implementation of mitigation and recovery measures of 4.2 percent of GDP. The current account deficit is estimated to have increased to 7.5 percent of GDP mainly due to a large decline in diaspora-related inflows, most notably in tourism. Gross international reserves declined but remain adequate in part due to the purchase under the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) in April 2020 and the use of other external financing. Banks have weathered the recession well to date, and the high pre-COVID19 liquidity levels and ample capital buffers bode well for the system’s stability.