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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that important changes have been made in the World Bank’s management systems since Mr. A. W. Clausen became President in July 1981. The changes reflect Mr. Clausen’s belief that there needs to be a more collegial approach to decision making and greater delegation of authority. The aim is that the World Bank should become more efficient and its activities should be more responsive to its clients’ needs. A Managing Committee was also established to take decisions on all key issues facing the World Bank.

International Monetary Fund

Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world. The country is emerging from more than a decade of civil conflict. The World Bank’s country assistance strategy focuses on structural reforms to further increase growth and reduce poverty. The economy is emerging from the effects of the global crisis. Performance under the Extended Credit Facility-supported (ECF) program has been satisfactory. The discussions focus on the appropriate policy mix to consolidate economic stability and support recovery of the economy. The economy is expected to continue to recover from the effects of the global crisis.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

The Burundian economy faced several adverse shocks. The government responded by allowing greater exchange rate flexibility and by tightening its monetary policy. The fiscal stance was in line with the program, and program implementation has been broadly satisfactory despite difficult circumstances. Sustaining revenue mobilization remains a top priority. Public financial management needs to be bolstered significantly and the country remains at high risk of debt distress, underscoring the importance of reinforcing debt management. Monetary policy should remain tight until inflation falls.

International Monetary Fund

Burundi’s economy has continued to grow at a slower pace than envisaged owing to the impact of food and fuel shocks on aggregate demand. The macroeconomic outlook remains broadly positive but subject to risks that emanate from the security situation and the external environment. The foremost risks are a decline in donor support, warranting an abrupt fiscal adjustment, and a worsening in the security situation. These risks are mitigated in part by reforms that have improved revenue mobilization and efforts in nation building.

International Monetary Fund

This paper discusses key findings of the Fifth Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) Arrangement for Burundi. Macroeconomic performance under the PRGF-supported program in 2006 was broadly in line with the program. All end-June and end-September 2006 quantitative performance targets were met with the exception of a temporary accumulation of external arrears. Structural reforms lagged in mid-2006. The structural performance criterion at end-September and the structural benchmarks were missed. The measures covered by the performance criterion and three of the benchmarks were implemented by early 2007.

International Monetary Fund

Burundi is in great need of investment in infrastructure, but fiscal constraints leave little room for additional public spending. Despite this initial recovery, Burundi has yet to rebuild its pre-civil war level of public capital stock. Improving the business climate is one of the keys to attracting higher private investment. Since the Arusha agreement, some progress in the business climate has been made. Burundi is quickly moving away from the unsustainable debt situation and unstable exchange rate of the 1990s.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

KEY ISSUESContext: Since the last Article IV Consultation in 2012, notable progress has been achieved to enhance macroeconomic stability, underpinned by the Fund-supported program. However, continued progress could be tested as the country faces a more challenging environment, due to increasing social and political tensions and frequent strikes in the run-up to the 2015 elections. Moreover, recent political developments reinforce uncertainties surrounding external budget support.Program: The Executive Board approved the three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) on January 27, 2012, with a total access of SDR 30 million. The first, second, third, and fourth reviews were completed on July 27, 2012, February 14, 2013, September 6, 2013, and February 28, 2014, respectively. For the fifth review, all end-March performance criteria were observed, but fiscal revenues underperformed in the first quarter of 2014 requiring corrective fiscal measures (about 1 percent of GDP on an annual basis). Satisfactory progress has been made on structural reforms, albeit with some delays.Outlook and risks: The medium-term macroeconomic outlook is challenging. The principal near-term risk is an intensification of election-related uncertainty, economic disruptions and violence, which would affect investment and growth. Governance issues or delays in making measurable progress in public financial management (PFM) reforms, and heightening of political tensions could curtail donor support. Reintegrating repatriated refugees is likely to add to unemployment pressures, increase demand for public services, and exacerbate social conflict over access to land.Staff Views: The staff recommends the completion of the fifth review under the ECF arrangement, setting of revised performance criteria and indicative targets for September�December 2014, and disbursement of SDR 5 million. The authorities have consented to the publication of this report following the completion of the review.

Mr. Paulo Drummond, Mr. Ari Aisen, Mr. Emre Alper, Ms. Ejona Fuli, and Mr. Sébastien Walker
This paper examines how susceptible East African Community (EAC) economies are to asymmetric shocks, assesses the value of the exchange rate as a shock absorber for these countries, and reviews adjustment mechanisms that would help ensure a successful experience under a common currency. The report draws on analysis of recent experiences and examines likely future changes in the EAC economies.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper analyzes the issue of migrant workers in Europe. The paper highlights that the number of migrant workers currently in the major industrialized countries of Western Europe is not accurately known. The actual annual flow of migration into Western Europe has been growing rapidly in recent years. Most migrants are so-called annual or permanent workers, although in France, particularly in agriculture, and in Switzerland, “seasonal” migration is also important. The paper also highlights that the sectoral distribution of migrant workers tends to follow the pattern of sectoral employment growth in the receiving country.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that the 1980 Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IMF affirmed the willingness of the IMF to evolve, under its charter, to meet new circumstances; but in some ways there was a departure from the past. Two substantive problems dominated the Meeting: the persistence of high inflation as a worldwide problem and the large payments deficits engulfing the non-oil developing countries. There was general agreement that these were the immediate threats to international monetary stability.