Mr. David John Goldsbrough, Mrs. Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Mr. Martin D Kaufman, Mr. Daouda Sembene, Mr. Tsidi M Tsikata, Mr. Steve K Mugerwa, Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, and Mr. Jeff Chelsky
In 1999, the IMF and the World Bank adopted a new frame work for supporting economic reform in low-income member countries to achieve the objectives of poverty reduction and economic growth. The frame work consists of two key elements: country-authored Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, drawing on broad-based consultations with key stake holder groups; and a vehicle for the provision of IMF concessional lending, the Poverty Reduction andGrowth Facility. This evaluation takes stock of progress to date and attempts to identify short comings that may require course corrections in the design and implementation of the initiative.
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.
In 2008, Nicaragua introduced legislation criminalizing money laundering (ML) and the financing of terrorism (FT) that is generally adequate, except for some key deficiencies. The Antimony Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) preventive measures for the regulated financial sector, including its supervision, is broadly in compliance with the international standard, but the financial cooperative sector is not regulated. There was no evidence of FT risk, and there have been no suspicious transaction reports or investigations in this regard. Nicaragua does not have an FIU and generally lacks an adequate AML/CFT institutional framework.
Nicaragua’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper discusses several strategic policies for boosting medium-term economic growth. The role of the private sector as the main engine of growth through the stimulation of investment and exports is underscored. It also emphasizes the objective of broad-based economic growth that promotes employment and rural development. To this end, the authorities intend to improve the investment climate, increase public infrastructure spending, enhance investment in human capital, and strengthen protection of vulnerable groups.
The current government has succeeded in reorienting economic policies after a series of shocks and an initial weak policy response. Revised real GDP growth targets are feasible with sustained prudent macroeconomic policies and institutional reforms. The medium-term macroeconomic framework centers on sustained prudent fiscal and monetary policies. The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) could include a more detailed description of the actions being implemented to strengthen the financial system. The pursuit of fiscal discipline to restore macroeconomic stability has dominated the second year of strategy implementation.
This poverty reduction strategy paper on Nicaragua shows that the main obstacles to poverty reduction are related to culture, historical, and structural factors, as well as weak public policy. The lack of proper physical infrastructure, the weaknesses in the energy matrix, the flaws in the health, education, and potable water systems, and the precarious presence of state institutions in the territory have all contributed to the lack of success in poverty reduction. The country’s potential in agriculture and natural resources are the main areas of opportunity regarding economic growth and poverty reduction.
This paper reports on progress made on Nicaragua’s National Human Development Plan as of 2010. The operational goal for Nicaragua’s National Human Development Plan is economic growth with increased employment and reduced inequality and poverty. The results for 2007–10 highlight a significant reduction in inequality among Nicaraguans based on better distribution of income and consumption. This has been possible owing to redistributive government policies with positive results, economic recovery, and positive economic growth in the midst of a world financial and economic crisis.
The government of Nicaragua has worked toward adopting the necessary economic measures to put the country’s economy on the course of fiscal sustainability and those that guarantee transparent and austere management, not affecting the most vulnerable population. The government has managed to protect social spending, providing resources for strategic sectors, improving performance indicators for health and education, and implementing reforms that will have a greater impact on these sectors. It is expected that the tendency for social spending will be maintained in the coming years.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Russia’s unexpectedly strong recovery since its 1998 crisis has left people wondering whether it is just a temporary result of higher oil prices and the postcrisis depreciation of the ruble or a sign ofdurable improvements in the much-battered economy. This question is addressed in the book Russia Rebounds, written by members of the IMF’s Russian team and due out later this year. John Odling-Smee, Director of the IMF’s European II Department, spoke with Laura Wallace about Russia’s prospects and its relationship with the IMF during the troubled 1990s. Odling-Smee, a U.K. national, joined the IMF in 1990 and took over responsibility for the IMF’s relations with former Soviet Union countries in 1992. Before that, he served in the U.K. Cabinet Office and Treasury for about 15 years.