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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

KEY ISSUESContext and outlook: Despite strong macroeconomic performance under the Fund- supported program (2009�12) with economic activity steadily accelerating and inflation declining sharply, poverty remains pervasive and the economy vulnerable, exposing this progress to reversal. Limited fiscal space and shocks to revenues often offset by expenditure adjustments have not supported pro-poor and critical investment spending necessary for inclusive growth, giving rise to mounting social demands to share in the benefits of the accelerating growth.Focus of consultation: The discussions focused on medium-term policy measures to preserve macroeconomic stability while promoting inclusive growth, improve transparency and good governance in the natural resources sector; and foster financial stability and development.Key policy recommendations:� Maintain the fiscal anchor of no (net) central bank financing of the budget while creating fiscal space through enhanced domestic revenue mobilization, and improving the quality of public spending through public financial management (PFM) reforms, and building more robust buffers against external shocks.� Implement measures included in the updated governance matrix agreed with the World Bank and the recommendations of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the National Conference on Mineral Resources Management (NCMRM) to enhance transparency and good governance in the management of natural resources.� Accelerate reforms of the Central Bank of the Congo (BCC) and the financial sector by (i) passing the central bank law to strengthen its independence and governance,(ii) completing its recapitalization, and (iii) strengthening its analytical capacity,(iv) disengaging from non-core activities, and (v) implement FSAP recommendations to promote financial sector stability and development.

K. S. Sundara Rajan

This paper discusses the project financed by the World Bank for controlling the flow of the Chao Phya River in Thailand. Chao Phya is the lifestream of the Thai people. However, this river, and its principal tributaries are, in their natural state, capricious rivers. In the early 1950s, the World Bank began assisting the Thai government in a series of projects designed to break this ancient tyranny of the rivers’ violent changes. The paper describes how the river is being tamed for irrigation and navigation, and how they are providing electric power and other benefits.

Nancy Birdsall and Frederick T. Sai

This paper examines the policy implications of structural changes in financial markets. Domestic financial markets have become less segmented, and the major financial centers more integrated. At the same time, the structural changes in financial markets have improved efficiency by lowering intermediation costs, increasing the ability to hedge financial risks associated with currency, interest rate, and price volatility and opening up access to new sources of savings. The widespread application of computer and telecommunications technology to financial markets has permitted markets to process a significantly larger volume of transactions.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that agreement on an important package of reforms of vital significance to the future of the international monetary system was reached at a meeting of the Interim Committee of the Board of Governors of the IMF on the International Monetary System in Kingston, Jamaica, on January 7–8, 1976. The reforms include a substantial quota increase for almost all members, as well as an increase in access to the IMF’s resources for all member countries in the period prior to implementation of the increase in their IMF quotas, and some other amendments.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses key findings of the Third Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Burundi. In a difficult post-conflict environment, performance on the ECF-supported program was satisfactory. All quantitative performance criteria for end-September 2009 were met, and structural reforms are on track. The closing of off-budget accounts constitutes a major step toward establishment of a single treasury account. The program for 2010 seeks to consolidate economic stability and support gradual recovery of the economy. IMF staff recommends completion of the Third Review based on Burundi’s performance and the strength of the program.
International Monetary Fund
This 1999 Article IV Consultation highlights that progress on structural reforms in Haiti in FY1998/99 has been mixed. In the financial sector, the central bank’s supervisory capacity and the regulatory framework continued to be strengthened. Performance under the FY1997/98 Staff-Monitored Program (year ending in September) was satisfactory. As a result of firm policy implementation, inflation was reduced, the external current account deficit narrowed, and official net international reserves rose. Output growth picked up to about 3 percent. Credit policy was tighter than programmed, although the fiscal deficit was slightly higher than in the program.
International Monetary Fund
This 2006 Article IV Consultation highlights that Swaziland’s economic performance has remained weak with growth averaging only 2 percent since 2000, owing to a substantial real appreciation of the lilangeni during 2002–04, erosion of trade preferences, recurrent drought, and stagnant investment. Over that same period, rising government expenditures, especially on the wage bill, undermined fiscal sustainability and reduced foreign reserves to critically low levels. Poverty has escalated in the face of high and rising unemployment, food shortages, and the world’s highest HIV/AIDS infection rate.
International Monetary Fund
Haiti's economic performance deteriorated as a result of continuing political crisis. The ongoing political crisis has impeded the implementation of a comprehensive, donor-backed effort to remove Haiti's serious structural impediments. The economic program seeks to help the government reestablish macroeconomic stability during the political transition, alleviate pressure on the exchange rate, and restore inflation to a downward path. Credit policy should continue to be restrained through open market operations. The IMF staff commends the measures taken to improve the supervision and health of the banking system.