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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

This Selected Issues paper takes stock of poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Poverty has receded in the DRC over the last decade on the back of gradual stabilization in the security and political situation, strong economic growth, and sharp decline in inflationary pressures. Most social indicators also improved during the period. However, poverty remains pervasive with a level still among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, and DRC will likely not achieve any of the Millennium Developments Goals by 2015. Policy actions should focus on fostering the development of labor-intensive sector, increasing social spending, and redirecting public resources to the poorest regions of the country.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper examines recent economic developments and medium-term outlook for Liberia. This paper focuses on economic developments during 2003 and 2004 and the medium-term challenges of reconstruction. The paper explores the pros and cons of adopting full (de jure) dollarization in Liberia. It reviews the theoretical arguments for and against adopting dollarization and the associated empirical evidence. The choices of monetary and exchange rate regimes made by other post-conflict countries are presented. The paper also assesses whether Liberia, in its current post-conflict situation, could benefit from dollarization.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This Selected Issues paper examines the drivers and implications of the agricultural land price boom in Uruguay. It finds that almost half of the increase in agricultural land prices between 2000 and 2010 can be explained by commodity price dynamics. At the same time, farmland prices are estimated to have played an important role in the transmission of commodity price shocks to economic activity, accounting for about 30 percent of the effect of commodity price shocks on GDP growth in the region. The paper also examines the performance of Uruguay’s exports and external balances over the past decade.