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Mr. Kevin Fletcher, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Duncan P Last, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, Mr. Shamsuddin Tareq, Mr. Richard I Allen, and Ms. Isabell Adenauer

Abstract

The international community has committed to scaling up aid and improving aid delivery to low-income countries to help them meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The March 2002 Monterrey Consensus called on donors and international financial institutions to provide additional financing, improve aid predictability, and ensure that aid is aligned with national priorities. Recipient countries, on the other hand, have committed to implementing appropriate policies, strengthening institutions, and enhancing governance to ensure that aid is used effectively. At the 2005 Gleneagles Summit, the Group of Eight (G-8) countries committed to significantly increasing the amount of development assistance they provide to the low-income countries over the next decade. Specifically, donors committed to double aid to sub-Saharan Africa by 2010 (G-8, 2005).

Mr. Kevin Fletcher, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Duncan P Last, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, Mr. Shamsuddin Tareq, Mr. Richard I Allen, and Ms. Isabell Adenauer

Abstract

The first step in establishing a medium-term resource envelope is to collect information on the intentions of official and private donors. Governments typically lack information on private aid flows, and a part of the aid from official sources is also provided outside the budget. The increase in the average number of donors per country, as well as an increase in the number of aid channels, has complicated the task of gathering accurate information on external flows. The average number of donors per country has increased from about 12 in the 1960s to more than 30 during 2001–05 (World Bank, 2007a). In some sectors, such as health, aid channels have also proliferated, stretching the already weak capacity of low-income countries. Governments should encourage private aid organizations to strengthen their representation in recipient countries, while official donors should reach out to key private donors and invite them to participate in existing donor coordination structures.

Mr. Kevin Fletcher, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Duncan P Last, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, Mr. Shamsuddin Tareq, Mr. Richard I Allen, and Ms. Isabell Adenauer

Abstract

The IMF’s advice and program design encourage aid recipients to spend all aid fully and effectively. How much and how fast scaled-up aid should be spent over the medium term is a function of the following:

Mr. Kevin Fletcher, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Duncan P Last, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, Mr. Shamsuddin Tareq, Mr. Richard I Allen, and Ms. Isabell Adenauer

Abstract

Aid volatility complicates fiscal policy implementation. Aid flows are more volatile than revenues (Bulíř and Hamann, 2007) and significantly more volatile than remittances (Gupta, Pattillo, and Wagh, 2007). Moreover, such volatility has increased over time. The relative volatility of aid, even for HIPCs, with respect to revenue (when variables are expressed as a share of GDP) has increased to 62 in 2000–03 compared to 25 in 1995–98 (Bulíř and Hamann, 2007) (see Appendix 1). This problem is likely to worsen, for two reasons. First, even if the volatility of aid does not change, a larger aid volume implies that a larger portion of the budgetary spending would be aid financed and thus subject to volatility. Second, the volatility of aid itself may increase because of shifts in the composition of aid away from project aid and toward budget support and program loans. A rising share of budget support can aggravate aid volatility because of the inability of donors to make long-term commitments for budget support.

Mr. Kevin Fletcher, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Duncan P Last, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, Mr. Shamsuddin Tareq, Mr. Richard I Allen, and Ms. Isabell Adenauer

Abstract

Ensuring efficient public expenditure calls for strengthening fiscal institutions, including PFM systems.20 Sound and effective PFM systems are important for several reasons: (1) to increase the prospects of achieving key economic and social priorities; (2) to support transparency and accountability—that is, to ensure that the government is held responsible for managing public resources and that donors and taxpayers have access to information about the allocation and use of such funds; and (3) to reduce the transaction costs of aid-related donor requirements. Weaknesses in PFM systems can undermine budgetary planning, execution, and reporting and result in leakage of scarce public resources.

Mr. Kevin Fletcher, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Duncan P Last, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, Mr. Shamsuddin Tareq, Mr. Richard I Allen, and Ms. Isabell Adenauer

Abstract

Sound fiscal policies are critical for handling aid volatility as well as for making effective use of scaled-up aid and other flows. By easing resource constraints, these flows allow low-income countries to increase spending aimed at enhancing growth and reducing poverty. Effective management of these policies, however, presents a host of macroeconomic challenges, many of them fiscal.

Mr. Kevin Fletcher, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Duncan P Last, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, Mr. Shamsuddin Tareq, Mr. Richard I Allen, and Ms. Isabell Adenauer

Abstract

The international community has committed to scaling up aid and improving aid delivery to low-income countries to help them meet the Millennium Development Goals. Other "emerging" donors, public and private, are increasing their assistance, and debt-relief initiatives are creating space for new borrowing. Remittances to low-income countries have been on a precipitous rise, and many countries are benefiting from high commodity prices. Fiscal Management of Scaled-Up Aid explores approaches to the sound fiscal management that will be required to ensure effective and sustainable use of these flows. With a medium-term perspective and efficient use of resources in mind, this paper addresses questions that shape fiscal policy response to scaled-up aid. Drawing on IMF Fiscal Affairs Department technical assistance to member countries, it outlines factors that should be taken into account in preparing an action plan for public financial management reform and proposes specific measures that will assist countries in strengthening fiscal institutions.