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.
Mr. Emilio Sacerdoti, Mr. Gonzalo Salinas, and Abdikarim Farah
We develop a simple macroeconomic model that assesses the effects of higher foreign aid on output growth and other macroeconomic variables, including the real exchange rate. The model is easily tractable and requires estimation of only a few basic parameters. It takes into account the impact of aid on physical and human capital accumulation, while recognizing that the impact of the latter is more protracted. Application of the model to Niger-one of the poorest countries in the world-suggests that if foreign aid as a share of GDP were to be permanently increased from the equivalent of 10 percent of GDP in 2007 to 15 percent in 2008, annual economic growth would accelerate by more than 1 percentage point, without generating significant risks for macroeconomic stability. As a result, by 2020 Niger's income per capita would be 12.5 percent higher than it would be without increased foreign aid. Moreover, the higher growth would help Niger to cut the incidence of poverty by 25 percent by 2015, although the country will still be unable to reach the Millennium Development Goal of poverty reduction (MDG 1).
This Selected Issues Paper and Statistical Appendix for Niger are discussed. The Nigerien economic outlook has been improving since 1999. After a long period of decline in per capita income, growth accelerated through 2007, attaining an annual average of 4 percent, or about 1 percent in per capita terms. Economic reforms and political stability have attracted external aid and higher domestic and external private investment. The Equilibrium Real Exchange Rate Approach indicates a moderate undervaluation of 0.7 percent to 3.7 percent.
In September 2007, the UN Secretary General launched the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Africa Steering and Working Groups. The Steering Group brings together the leaders of multilateral institutions to identify practical steps needed for Africa to achieve the MDGs. The Managing Director of the IMF is a member of the Steering Group. The Working Group supports the Steering Group and is comprised of thematic groups in education, agriculture, health, infrastructure and trade facilitation, statistics, aid predictability, and MDG operationalization at the country level. The following three notes assess the macroeconomic implications of the spending of scaled-up aid to Benin, Niger, and Togo in line with that promised by the G-8 at Gleneagles, Scotland in 2005.