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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

On March 21, Masood Ahmed, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Policy Development and Review Department, briefed the press on the organization’s work to streamline the conditions attached to the use of IMF resources (“conditionality”). At the behest of IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler, staff reviewed the experience with conditionality and sought ways to sharpen its focus and enhance country ownership ofprograms.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Following are excerpts of recent IMF press releases. Full texts are available on the IMF’s website (http://www.imf.org) under “news” or on request from the IMF’s Public Affairs Division (fax: (202) 623-6278).

Simonetta Nardin

As part of its conditionality review, the IMF has organized a series of discussions on its proposals, holding seminars in Berlin in June (see IMF Survey, July 2, page 218) and in Tokyo in July (see IMF Survey, July 30, page 249). A third forum—cosponsored by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the World Bank, and the IMF and held in London on July 23-24—covered issues related to conditionality and ownership particularly relevant to low-income countries. The seminar was co-chaired by Winston Cox, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General; Masood Ahmed, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Policy Development and Review Department; and Joanne Salop, Vice-President for the World Bank’s Operations Policy and Country Services. It brought together representatives of borrowing and creditor countries, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and a number of other individuals with relevant expertise and experience.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.

International Monetary Fund

This paper presents findings of the Third Review under the poverty reduction and growth facility arrangement for Kenya. The sharp spending increase budgeted for 2007/08 could exert pressures on domestic prices and compromise project quality, but the authorities are taking steps to mitigate these risks. Authorities are committed to fully implementing the budget only if nonfood inflation remains low and project quality is maintained. Some aspects of governance have improved, but challenges remain. Structural reforms in public financial management need to be broadened and financial sector reforms accelerated.