During the 2012 Review of Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) Eligibility, Executive Directors expressed a number of concerns about the eligibility framework. The Board decided to bring forward the next review of eligibility by one year, to early 2013, in light of these concerns. In particular, Directors called for the review to assess:
Possible shortcomings of the gross national income (GNI) per capita criterion in the case of small states, and whether additional or alternative variables should be used to better capture members‘ circumstances, particularly those of small states; as well as further options to enhance the flexibility of the PRGT-eligibility framework to cover small and very small countries;
The application of the short-term vulnerabilities criterion for graduation, which can lead to repeated non-graduation of members that meet either the income or the market access criteria for graduation.
The small states of the Asia and Pacific region face unique challenges in raising their growth potential and living standards. These countries are particularly vulnerable because of their small populations, geographical isolation and dispersion, narrow export and production bases, lack of economies of scale, limited access to international capital markets, exposure to shocks (including climate change), and heavy reliance on aid. In providing public services, they face higher fixed government costs relative to other states because public services must be provided regardless of their small population size. Low access to credit by the private sector is an impediment to inclusive growth. Capacity constraints are another key challenge. The small states also face more limited policy tools. Five out of 13 countries do not have a central bank and the scope for diversifying their economies is narrow. Given their large development needs, fiscal policies have been, at times, pro-cyclical. Within the Asia-Pacific small states group, the micro states are subject to more vulnerability and macroeconomic volatility than the rest of the Asia-Pacific small states.
This report presents the analysis, findings, conclusions and recommendations of the evaluation of the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center (PFTAC) that was undertaken between April 26 and May 14, 2004.
Based on the Executive Board’s guidance during the first stage of the Review of Low Income Countries (LIC) Facilities, this paper suggests a number of refinements to the facilities and instruments that are consistent with the self-sustainability of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT). The proposals seek to improve the tailoring and flexibility of Fund support. Taken together with those advanced in the parallel paper on PRGT eligibility, they are projected to keep the average annual demand for PRGT resources within a range consistent with the Board’s approved strategy to make the PRGT self-sustaining over the period 2013–35. The proposals are as follows.