Presidential elections in June 2020, a re-run of the canceled 2019
elections, resulted in a change of government, with President Chakwera securing 59
percent of the vote. The new administration is facing a rapid acceleration of COVID-19
cases in Malawi and adverse spillovers from continued deterioration of the global and
regional economic situation, significantly worsening the macroeconomic outlook.
Consequently, an additional urgent balance of payments need of 2.9 percent of GDP
has arisen—bringing the total external financing gap in 2020 to 5.0 percent of GDP. The
authorities have requested an additional disbursement of 52.1 percent of quota (SDR
72.31 million) under the “exogenous shock” window of the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF),
where 30 percent of the disbursement would finance the government budget. This
follows the May 1, 2020 Board approval of a 47.9 percent of quota RCF disbursement
(without budget support). The authorities have cancelled the Extended Credit Facility
(ECF) and expressed a strong interest in discussing a new ECF—better aligned with their
new long-term growth and reform strategy—once conditions permit.
This paper discusses key findings of the Sixth and Final Review for Malawi Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). Performance remained generally strong in the period under review. The authorities met most program targets for end-December 2007, and domestic debt fell as a share of GDP, but the domestic borrowing performance criterion was missed. The government aims to meet the 2007/08 domestic borrowing target. Higher fuel and fertilizer prices are putting pressure on international reserves, which are down from an already inadequate level.
Progress on fiscal policy during 2006/07 in Malawi was slower than expected. The 2006/07 (July-June) fiscal strategy focused on reducing domestic debt. In the third Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) review, the end-June target for domestic debt repayments was increased substantially. Domestic borrowing exceeded the adjusted target at end-December 2006 by MK 4.1 billion (0.9 percent of GDP). The government partially redressed this overrun by curtailing discretionary spending in the fourth quarter, as the scale of the end-December overrun became clear.
This 2006 Article IV Consultation highlights that Malawi is at a critical juncture following its progress on macroeconomic stability, attainment of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) completion point in August 2006, and the recent launch of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, which outlines an ambitious agenda of structural reform to enhance growth and reduce poverty. This paper focuses on the three key challenges facing Malawi over the medium term, which frame macroeconomic policy over the near term.
The objective for net foreign assets was discussed in this paper. Macroeconomic performance under the PRGF arrangement was broadly discussed. Several developments during the second half of 2005/2006 required the authorities to strengthen financial management controls and to make other policy adjustments. To meet additional humanitarian needs, the government expanded its food security operations. The authorities are working with IMF staff and other stakeholders to redefine pro-poor spending for 2006/2007. The government has taken further steps to ensure the viability of the pension system.
Malawi has made satisfactory progress in implementing its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) for at least one year, and maintained satisfactory macroeconomic policies as evidenced by its performance under a program supported by the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) over the last fiscal year 2005/2006. The completion point analysis shows the actual outturn to be 245 percent of exports. After additional voluntary bilateral debt relief, this ratio declines to 229 percent of exports. The paper assesses the sensitivity of debt indicators to changes in key economic variables.
This pamphlet reports on how the enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) is meeting its aim of delivering faster, broader, and deeper debt relief to more HIPCs once these countries have shown a commitment to put the freed-up funds to work for the poor. The pamphlet also includes introductory sections that explain the rationale for the HIPC Initiative and describe how it works. A concluding section discusses the Initiative’s top challenge in the year ahead: to bring the remaining eligible countries to their decision points under the Initiative as fast and realistically as possible.
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
The speeches made by officials attending the IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings are published in this volume, along with the press communiqués issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee at the conclusion of the meetings.