International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Iraq’s First and Second Reviews of the Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) and Request for a Three-Year Stand-By Arrangement. The oil price decline has resulted in a massive reduction in Iraq’s budget revenue, pushing the fiscal deficit to an unsustainable level. The authorities are responding to the crisis with a mix of necessary fiscal adjustment and financing, maintaining their commitment to the exchange rate peg. The authorities started an SMP in November 2015 to establish a track record of policy credibility and pave the way to a possible IMF financing arrangement. Their performance under the SMP has been broadly satisfactory.
In preparing for the discussions of the Iraqi Constituent Assembly, IMF and World Bank staff and consultant experts presented to senior officials from the central and local governments in Iraq, including from Kurdistan, key options that might be relevant for the discussions. This paper reflects the thrust of the discussions, including the views on the options prepared by the Iraqi officials, and develops a short-term work plan for the benefit of the assembly.