International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper presents Bolivia’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). Bolivia has requested a purchase under the RFI to cover the urgent balance of payments need arising from an ongoing shift in its terms of trade, slowdown in capital flows, and sudden increase in health care expenditure needs, precipitated by the coronavirus disease 2019 epidemic. The IMF staff assess that Bolivia meets the eligibility requirements for the RFI. Public debt is sustainable, and Bolivia has adequate capacity to repay the IMF. The epidemic will have a substantial impact on Bolivia’s economy, constraining domestic output, reducing export demand, lowering the price of its principal exports, curtailing external financing flows, squeezing fiscal revenues, and increasing expenditures for public health and social support. In IMF staff’s view, Bolivia’s debt remains sustainable over the medium term and, while the outlook remains highly uncertain, Bolivia maintains an adequate capacity to repay the IMF. The IMF staff therefore recommend Board approval of Bolivia’s request for a purchase under the RFI of 100 percent of quota.
Chapter 1 argues that fiscal policies are at the forefront of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fiscal measures can save lives, protect the most-affected people and firms from the economic impact of the pandemic, and prevent the health crisis from turning into a deep long-lasting slump. A key priority is to fully accommodate spending on health and emergency services. Global coordination is for a universally low-cost vaccine and to support countries with limited health capacity. Large, temporary and targeted support is urgently needed for affected workers and firms until the emergency abates. As the shutdowns end, broad-based, coordinated fiscal stimulus—where financing conditions permit—will become more effective in fostering the recovery. Chapter 2 argues that fiscal policies are at the forefront of facilitating an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic once the Great Lockdown ends. Policymakers can achieve this objective with IDEAS: Invest for the future—in health systems, infrastructure, low carbon technologies, education, and research; adopt well-planned Discretionary policies that can be deployed quickly; and Enhance Automatic Stabilizers, which are built-in budgetary tax and spending measures that automatically stabilize incomes and consumption. Importantly, improving unemployment benefit systems and social safety nets can protect household incomes from adverse shocks and strengthen resilience against future epidemics. Over the past decade, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have doubled in importance among the world’s largest corporations. They often deliver basic services such as water, electricity, and loans for families and small businesses. At their best, they can help promote higher economic growth and achieve development goals. However, many are a burden to taxpayers and the economy. Chapter 3 discusses what governments can do to get the most out of SOEs. This includes ensuring the firm’s managers have the right incentives and there is effective oversight. It also requires a high degree of transparency of their activities.