In the previous issue, the author dealt with the spectacular success already achieved by science in increasing animal production for food, yet showed that in relation to the size of the problem the effort might be considered a failure. In this article he indicates how it might yet succeed on a worldwide scale.
This Selected Issues paper on Bangladesh underlies the export performance of readymade garment industry and inflation dynamics. Bangladesh has demonstrated that it is highly competitive in the world’s major garment markets. Inflation inertia, monetary factors, and exchange rate fluctuations are the main determinants of inflation in Bangladesh. Despite adoption of numerous tax policy measures during the past few years, policies implemented by the Bangladesh authorities have not been fully successful in lifting the revenue ratio to a level warranted by developmental objectives.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that in July 1975, an interdepartmental task force, chaired by the Director of the Bank’s Transportation and Urban Projects Department, had been established to develop an “urban poverty action program.” This task force published, in March 1976, an interim report containing tentative conclusions on the dimensions of the problem, and on the possible strategy the Bank might use to deal with urban poverty. The task force estimated that roughly 25 percent of the urban population of developing countries that are members of the Bank—some 150 million people—live in absolute poverty.
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This paper describes the need to broaden the agenda for poverty reduction. The broadening of the agenda follows from a growing understanding that poverty is more than low income, a lack of education, and poor health. The poor are frequently powerless to influence the social and economic factors that determine their well being. The paper highlights that a broader definition of poverty requires a broader set of actions to fight it and increases the challenge of measuring poverty and comparing achievement across countries and over time.
This paper elaborates the introduction of surveillance that gave the IMF broader responsibilities with respect to oversight of its members’ policies than existed under the par value system. The IMF’s purview has been broadened under the new system but, by the same token, its members are no longer obliged to seek its concurrence in changes in exchange rates. The continuing volatility of exchange rates, and their prolonged divergence from levels that appear to be sustainable over time, have been matters of growing concern.
This paper highlights that the current round of trade talks under the auspices of the World Trade Organization aims at better integrating developing countries—especially the small and poor ones—into the global trading system. For that reason, it was named the Doha Development Agenda when it was launched in late 2001. However, more than three years on, little progress has been made. It took a late July 2004 accord outlining “negotiating frameworks” in agriculture and industrial products just to keep the talks afloat.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The IMF is helping low-income countries hit by high food prices take appropriate policy action while providing financial assistance to some of the worst-affected nations, Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said.
Mr. Bjoern Rother, Mr. Sebastian Sosa, Majdi Debbich, Chiara Castrovillari, and Ervin Prifti
The global food crisis remains a major challenge. Food insecurity fueled by widely experienced increases in the cost of living has become a growing concern especially in low-income countries, even if price pressures on global food markets have softened somewhat since the onset of Russia’s war in Ukraine in February 2022. Targeted assistance to the most vulnerable households combined with policy measures to support trade and agriculture systems, including to better cope with climate shocks, can help countries withstand the fallout of the ongoing food crisis while building longer-term resilience. The IMF, working in close cooperation with other international organizations, has continued to contribute to international efforts to alleviate food insecurity by providing policy advice, capacity development, and financial support through Upper Credit Tranche Arrangements and the new Food Shock Window. New commitments to countries particularly affected by the global food crisis total $13.2 billion since February 2022, of which $3.7 billion has been disbursed as of March 2023.
Agriculture remains the dominant sector in the economies of most Sub-Saharan African countries. However, the experience of agricultural growth in the region stands in sharp contrast to the robust performance of agriculture in many Asian countries, particularly China. In a number of African countries, labor productivity has fallen and land productivity has not risen significantly. In China, on the other hand, land and labor productivities have increased steadily over the past two decades. An examination of factors underlying the contrasting experiences of China and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa reveals important differences in the institutional and policy environments affecting the use of new and profitable technologies to raise land and labor productivities.