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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Klakow Akepanidtaworn, Gareth Anderson, Dalmacio R Benicio, and Joyce C. Wong prepared this chapter, and Oluremi Akin-Olugbade provided research assistance.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis led to a surge in government debt and financing needs as many countries in the Middle East and Central Asia reacted swiftly to mitigate the pandemic’s impact. Although several of these countries successfully accessed international financial markets, domestic banks covered a significant share of emerging markets’ financing needs, further expanding their already significant exposure to the public sector. By contrast, most low-income countries (LICs) had a small response to the crisis because of financing and policy space constraints. Looking ahead, public gross financing needs in most emerging markets in the Middle East and Central Asia are expected to remain elevated in 2021–22, with downside risks in the event of tighter global financial conditions and/or if fiscal consolidation is delayed due to weaker-than-expected recovery. However, further reliance on domestic financing will reduce banks’ ability to support the private sector’s emergence from the crisis, thus prolonging the recovery. Credible medium-term fiscal and debt management strategies, together with policy actions to develop domestic capital markets and mitigate banks’ overexposure to the sovereign would reduce financing risks, address the elevated debt burdens, and entrench financial stability.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper highlights Pakistan’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). With the near-term outlook deteriorating sharply, the authorities have swiftly put in place measures to contain the impact of the shock and support economic activity. Crucially, health spending has been increased and social support strengthened. While uncertainty remains high, the near-term economic impact of coronavirus disease 2019 is expected to be significant, giving rise to large fiscal and external financing needs. The IMF support will help to provide a backstop against the decline in international reserves and provide financing to the budget for targeted and temporary spending increases aimed at containing the pandemic and mitigating its economic impact. In response to the crisis, the government of Pakistan has taken swift action to halt the community spread of the virus and introduced an economic stimulus package aimed at accommodating the spending needed to tackle the health emergency and supporting economic activity.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
While the Covid-19 shock temporarily disrupted Pakistan’s progress under the program supported by the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF), the authorities’ policies have been critical in supporting the economy and saving lives and livelihoods. Aside from health-related containment measures, their response included a temporary fiscal stimulus, large expansion of social safety nets, monetary policy support, and targeted financial initiatives. These measures, supported by sizable emergency financing from the international community, including under an RFI, helped contain the first Covid-19 wave of cases and the impact on the economy. Growth slowed to –0.4 percent in FY 2020 (July–June), but is expected to recover to 1.5 percent in FY 2021. The external position improved, and inflation continued to decelerate through early 2021 despite supply-driven spikes in food prices. However, a second Covid-19 wave is unfolding, triggering exceptionally high uncertainty and downside risks.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
L’édition web du Bulletin du FMI est mise à jour plusieurs fois par semaine et contient de nombreux articles sur des questions de politique générale et de politique économique d'actualité. Accédez aux dernières recherches du FMI, lisez des interviews et écoutez des podcasts proposés par les principaux économistes du FMI sur des questions importantes de l'économie mondiale. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
La edición en Internet del Boletín del FMI, que se actualiza varias veces a la semana, contiene numerosos artículos sobre temas de actualidad en el ámbito de las políticas y la economía. Consulte las últimas investigaciones del FMI, lea entrevistas y escuche podcasts de los principales economistas del FMI sobre importantes temas relacionados con la economía mundial. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx