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Mr. Peter S. Heller

At the meeting of High-Level Women in International Finance, Economics, and Development (also see box, page 302) held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on September 20, Peter Heller (Deputy Director in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department) discussed how the IMF can help promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that address gender equality. His speech is summarized below.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper aims at providing an empirical underpinning to fiscal policy reforms implemented by the authorities by estimating the size of fiscal multipliers in Cameroon, using a novel long quarterly data set and looking separately at the impact of changes in revenue, and government consumption and investment. The impact of government spending and taxes depends on country characteristics and the stage of the business cycle. The analysis shows that revenue and capital expenditure multipliers in Cameroon are small and comparable to those of other sub-Saharan African and low-income countries. The revenue multiplier is close to nil which implies that revenue-based fiscal consolidation would be less harmful to growth in the medium term. Compared to its peers in sub-Saharan Africa, Cameroon’s revenue multiplier is smaller as is its tax burden relative to the regional average. Conversely, government expenditure can more significantly affect output in the medium term, although the consumption multiplier is unexpectedly much higher than the investment one.
International Monetary Fund
This paper examines Kenya’s Poverty Reduction Strategy annual progress report. The Investment Program for the Economic Recovery Strategy is Kenya’s medium-term strategy to foster economic growth and reduce poverty. Poverty is defined as the inability to command resources and is a multidimensional phenomenon, a characteristic that makes those afflicted face multiple deprivations owing to interactions of economic, political, and social processes. The government envisages strengthening the macroeconomic framework, a more responsible fiscal policy stance, and the unleashing of private sector participation and investment.
International Monetary Fund
The new generation Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) describes the policies and programs that the country intends to implement at the macroeconomic, structural, and social levels. In this study, the new generation PRSP was prepared. The low level of poverty reduction is owed to poor control of population growth and inadequate growth rate of the Malian economy. The three strategic orientations are detailed in thirteen priority areas. The results of the work done by the central and deconcentrated administration are discussed. Two major objectives of the PRSP II are outlined.
International Monetary Fund
This is the third Annual Progress Report on the implementation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS). Both the budget and the GPRS propose to tackle issues including reduction in the domestic debt, reduction of inflation to single digits, increasing revenue mobilization, curtailing deficit financing, and rationalization of expenditure through effective monitoring. The disbursement of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF) has improved. The macroeconomic indicators show that targets set by the government have been achieved, which has led to a stable economic environment.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

This paper reviews Mali’s 2012–2017 Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Paper. Mali’s GDP was CFAF 1,741.89 billion in 2012; real growth was ?1.2 percent, that is, excluding inflation (2.7 percent in 2011). The decline of 3.9 points in growth between 2011 and 2012 was finally stemmed, despite the major shocks that Mali had to face in 2012. The dual security and institutional shock had a negative impact on the entire economy, and more particularly on certain subsectors such as construction and public works, the hotel industry, and commerce. The GDP growth rate was ?1.2 percent in 2012, compared with 2.7 percent in 2011.

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Brian Hammond, Richard Leete, and Eric Swanson

This paper describes the need to broaden the agenda for poverty reduction. The broadening of the agenda follows from a growing understanding that poverty is more than low income, a lack of education, and poor health. The poor are frequently powerless to influence the social and economic factors that determine their well being. The paper highlights that a broader definition of poverty requires a broader set of actions to fight it and increases the challenge of measuring poverty and comparing achievement across countries and over time.

Sabina Bhatia

More than 150 government officials, civil society representatives, parliamentarians, and academics gathered in Phnom Penh October 16–18 to share their experiences on poverty reduction strategies. The Second East Asia and Pacific Regional Conference—sponsored by the Asian Development Bank, the IMF, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank—focused on developments in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (P.D.R.), Mongolia, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. It also offered practical advice on broadening participation, decentralization, “localizing” efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and addressing gender issues.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

World poverty can be significantly decreased by 2015 if developing and industrial countries implement their commitments to attack its root causes, according to a report released on June 26. The report, entitled A Better World for All, was prepared jointly by the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, the IMF, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

International Monetary Fund

This 2012 Article IV Consultation focuses on the financial sector and macroeconomic situation in Vietnam. The authorities adopted a stabilization package in February 2011 in response to increasing pressures on prices and the exchange rate in late 2010. Executive Directors commended the tightening of macroeconomic policies in 2011, which contributed to declining inflation, stabilizing the exchange rate, and a rebuilding of international reserves. Directors also recommended that monetary policy give priority to reducing inflation and rebuilding reserves further.