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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper reviews the procurement process under World Bank projects. The paper highlights that the World Bank’s interest in procurement under its loans stems directly from the “project” requirement of its Articles, which stipulates that it should lend for specific projects, except in special circumstances, and that it should ensure that the proceeds of the loan are used only for its specified purpose, with due attention to economy and efficiency. In 1951, the World Bank began introducing international competitive bidding as the normal procedure for procurement of the goods and works needed for its projects.
Adelheid Burgi–Schmelz

'Restoring Hope: Reinvigorating the Millennium Development Goals' assesses how the world is doing in meeting the MDGs--international development targets that all UN member countries and many international organizations have set for 2015. Our lead article, 'Regaining Momentum,' says that while several of the MDGs are within reach, the global economic crisis has set back progress toward a number of the targets, especially those related to health. Developing countries will need the support of advanced economies in to get back on track. Economist Jagdish Bhagwati calls into question the premise of the MDGs and argues that they should be rethought. Philanthropist Melinda Gates gives us the good news that maternal health has been improving, though we are not yet on track to meet the MDG target on maternal mortality. Picture This takes a look at child mortality rates and finds a more sobering picture. In related stories, economists Arvind Panagariya and Rodney Ramcharan have different views on how important it is to fight inequality. This issue also examines the deterioration of fiscal positions in advanced economies--as a result of both the global financial crisis and the long-run health and pension costs of an aging population. 'How Grim a Fiscal Crisis?' argues that consolidation in advanced economies should focus on spending cuts, given the already high tax burdens in many countries. In 'A Hidden Fiscal Crisis,' economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff examines the serious budget issues in the United States. We also look at the expensive needs of a rapidly aging population in France, and steps China is taking to improve pensions and health care. People in Economics profiles Maria Ramos, the academic-turned-Treasury mandarin who had a central role in stabilizing the budget in South Africa. And the 'Back to Basics' feature discusses unemployment.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The article reviews Mauritius’ developments and its macroeconomic policies for the imminent years. Growth has been flexible in these years but the postglobal crisis period did not show any remarkable developments. The country was heavily dependent on European exports and vulnerable to external shocks. To undergo debt and external sustainability in 2014–15, the authorities are reframing fiscal and monetary policies, restructuring physical infrastructure policies, and pension and labor reforms. The control of excess of liquidity and improvement in national savings will pave the way to reduce inflation pressures and external imbalances.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
The UK entered 2020 negotiating a new economic relationship with the EU and facing other challenges, including meeting climate targets, dealing with an aging population, and reinvigorating tepid productivity growth. Growth and investment had been weak since the 2016 referendum, and the current account deficit elevated, but unemployment was low, inflation on target, and balance sheets strong. The global pandemic hit the UK hard in March, and the country now faces a second wave. The economic impact has been severe, but helped by an aggressive policy response, jobs have been preserved, businesses kept afloat, and banking sector losses contained. Still, the outlook for the near term is weak, as the economy works through the second wave, Brexit, rising unemployment, and corporate distress. Risks are overall to the downside, centering on the degree of balance sheet damage sustained by households and small and medium enterprises. The pace at which vaccines are able to bring the pandemic under control could be an important mitigating factor.
Ms. Anne Y. Kester
Since the IMF launched the data standards initiatives a decade ago, 145 of its 184 member countries have participated. This 80 percent participation rate reaffirms the importance countries place on data transparency in the globalized economy, which the initiatives promote. The wide participation can be attributed to the consultative process that has allowed for the development of a coherent program that takes account of countries' capabilities, delineates clear responsibilities between the IMF and participating countries, and establishes effective monitoring procedures to ensure the credibility of the standards for policymakers, capital markets, and the general public. The approach has also provided checks and balances and fostered accountability. The initiatives may provide insights for the promotion of similar international standards.
Mr. Marco Committeri
This paper aims at clarifying, with the help of a simple formal model and numerical examples, several aspects of the relationship between international investment position (IIP) and balance of payments (BOP) statistics. Exact and approximated relations are compared to analyze the estimation accuracy of the most popular data model used to reconcile BOP transaction statistics with IIP and external debt stock statistics, and discuss (a) how such accuracy is affected by volatile asset prices and transactions and (b) how net errors and omissions are related to the model in question. Numerical examples based on equity prices and exchange rates actually observed in the 1990s suggest that the bias might have been especially large for estimates based on less detailed financial information. Serious consideration should be therefore given by national compilers to make use of more detailed financial information in compiling BOP and IIP statistics.
Mr. George M Kabwe, Elie Chamoun, Riaan van Greuning, Mowele Mohlala, and Ms. Julia Cardoso
Safeguards assessments are a key pillar of the risk management arrangements for IMF lending. Safeguards assessments aim to mitigate the risks of misuse of Fund resources and misreporting of program monetary data under Fund arrangements. Safeguards assessment reports are confidential and therefore the IMF Executive Board is provided with a periodic report on safeguards activities on a biennial basis, in addition to high-level summaries in member country staff reports on key findings and recommendations. This update on safeguards activity covers the period May 2017 to end-April 2019 (the period).
Mr. Anthony G. Turner and Mr. Toshitaka Sekine

As reported in the March 22 issue of the IMF Survey, the IMF’s International Financial Statistics for April 1999 includes for the first time comprehensive statistics reflecting major changes in the statistical systems of the euro area that became effective on January 1, 1999. In addition to the measures mentioned in the March 22 IMF Survey, the April 1999 International Financial Statistics also publishes nominal and real effective exchange rates for the euro area.