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Shu-Chin Yang and Samuel Lipkowitz

This paper examines the importance of national planning for economic development of a country. The paper highlights that when World War II began, Soviet Russia was the only country engaged in systematic development planning, and then only since 1929, when its First Five-Year Plan was approved. At the end of the War, Asian countries that either had, or were about to, become independent, embraced planning to a much greater extent than countries in any other region.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper reviews the population policy in developed countries. The paper highlights that despite the weakness of population concerns in most developed countries compared with less-developed countries, most of the former have taken certain actions that affect, or are thought to affect, demographic events. These actions include such measures as appointing official commissions to study the country’s demographic situation and advise the government what to do; providing birth control services as part of the public health system; and so on. This paper also summarizes the conclusions drawn by Dr. Berelson from the 25 country reports.

Bjorn Larsen and Anwar Shah

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund
The floods in Pakistan are a natural disaster of massive proportions. The overall impact will critically depend on how the floods will affect agricultural output along the Indus and its tributaries. The Pakistani authorities request financial assistance under the IMF policy for Emergency Natural Disaster Assistance (ENDA). Based on these developments, prior to the floods, IMF staff had projected a GDP growth rate of 4¼ percent and an annual inflation rate of 11.5 percent for 2010/2011. The economic outlook has deteriorated sharply as a result of the floods.
International Monetary Fund
Although Afghanistan has made significant gains over the years, vulnerabilities remain. The economic program Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) has been developed to sustain democracy, reduce poverty, and improve growth. ANDS, an important milestone in the rebuilding and development of Afghanistan, serves as its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and uses the pillars, principles, and benchmarks of the Afghanistan Compact as a foundation to achieve its MDGs. It has given high priority to the security sector for implementing security policies and strategies and also for building an Afghan National Army for the country's security.
International Monetary Fund
The Executive Board of the IMF on July 25, 2011, has approved a disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 1.245 million under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to help the country meet the urgent balance-of-payments need caused by torrential rains, flooding, and landslides in April that caused extensive damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and housing. The RCF, which provides rapid financial assistance for low-income countries with an urgent balance-of-payments need, does not require any program-based conditionality or review.
Mrs. Kerstin Gerling
Weather-related natural disasters and climate change pose interrelated macro-fiscal challenges. Using panel-VARX studies for a sample of 19 countries in Developing Asia during 1970 to 2015, this paper contributes new empirical evidence on the dynamic adjustment path of growth and key fiscal variables after severe weather-related disasters. It does not only show that output loss can be permanent, but even twice as large for cases of severe casualties or material damages than people affected. Meanwhile, key fiscal aggregates remain surprisingly stable. Event and case studies suggest that this can reflect both a deliberate policy choice or binding constraints. The latter can make governments respond through mitigating fiscal policy efforts such as ad hoc fiscal rebalancing and reprioritization. The findings help better customize disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts to countries’ risk exposure along a particular loss dimension.
Ms. Nicole Laframboise and Mr. Boileau Loko
This paper reviews the literature on the macroeconomic impact of natural disasters and presents the IMF’s role in assisting countries coping with natural catastrophes. Focusing on seven country cases, the paper describes the emergency financing, policy support, and technical assistance provided by the Fund to help governments put together a policy response or build a macro framework to lay the foundation for recovery and/or unlock other external financing. The literature and experience suggests there are ways to strengthen policy frameworks to increase resilience to natural disaster shocks, including identifying the risks and probability of natural disasters and integrating them more explicitly into macro frame-works, increasing flexibility within fiscal frameworks, and improving coordination amongst international partners ex post and ex ante.