International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that IMF activities in the first three months of 1977 were marked by a number of “firsts.” In addition to approving the largest stand-by arrangement in its history—the SDR 3.36 billion for the United Kingdom—the IMF welcomed its first new member of the year: Guinea-Bissau; held its first gold auction on behalf of the Trust Fund under the new schedule of monthly auctions; made its first loan disbursements as a Trustee of the Trust Fund; and held the first sale of gold for “restitution.”
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.