The intrinsic links between climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have elevated global calls for policymakers to take immediate action on both fronts. Fiscal stimulus supporting recovery from the pandemic can be designed to simultaneously address climate change. In turn, this could help reduce the spread of future pandemics as climate change is a threat multiplier for pandemics. Destruction of the environment and biodiversity makes pandemics more likely while pollution and other man-made factors driving climate change weaken the health of human beings, raising their vulnerability to viruses and other diseases.
Every second, the region has averaged 106 new internet users.1 This fast-paced digital revolution holds the promise of transforming economies and people’s lives. It takes on added importance as countries across the region grapple with the unprecedented health and socio-economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. All policy levers are being deployed to protect lives and livelihoods. Digital solutions have helped to provide more resilience and allowed for rapid, flexible, and inclusive policy responses to the pandemic.
Sub-Saharan Africa is facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis. One that threatens to throw the region off its stride, reversing the encouraging development progress of recent years. Furthermore, by exacting a heavy human toll, upending livelihoods, and damaging business and government balance sheets, the crisis threatens to slow the region’s growth prospects in the years to come. Previous crises tended to affect countries in the region differentially, but no country will be spared this time.
This progress report focuses on Medium-Term Plan (MTP) implementation by 2011 in Kenya, including specific progress on the attainment of MDG goals. The report presents the updated MTP program for 2012–13, including the consultations and framework underpinning its preparation. The macroeconomic framework and reformulation of the MTP Medium-Term Expenditure Framework is also discussed. It is concluded that significant progress has been made in meeting the MTP indicators and goals, although challenges remain in reducing poverty and meeting other MDGs.
The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper II (PRSP-II) examines the major development challenges faced by Burundi. The paper identifies achievements in areas such as security and governance, but draws attention to the below-par performance in overall economic growth and development. The primary reasons for the lack of development have been cited in the report. The four major strategic pillars of the PRSP-II provide a road-map for achieving the goals and objectives enunciated to put Burundi on the path toward sustainable development.
Rwanda’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy provides a medium-term framework for achieving the country’s long-term development goals and aspirations as embodied in Rwanda Vision 2020, the seven-year Government of Rwanda programme, and the Millennium Development Goals. The strategy promotes three flagship programs, namely sustainable growth for jobs and exports, poverty reduction by promoting pro-poor components of the national growth agenda, and providing an anchor for pro-poor growth by building on low incidence of corruption and a regional comparative advantage in soft infrastructure.
Uganda’s National Development Plan (NDP) stipulates medium-term strategic direction, development priorities, and implementation strategies. It also details Uganda’s current development status, challenges, and opportunities. The contribution of this NDP to the socioeconomic transformation will be demonstrated by improved employment levels, higher per capita income, improved labor force distribution in line with sectoral GDP shares, substantially improved human development and gender equality indicators, and the country’s competitiveness position, among others. The impressive GDP growth performance has contributed to a significant reduction in poverty levels.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
New IMF financial sector department; Short takes: Oman, C.A.R., Greece; Nobelist Wangari Matthai on sustainable development; Moldova and remittances; Financial globalization; VAT refunds; Emerging markets alter financial landscape.
Bin Grace Li, Mr. Stephen A. O'Connell, Mr. Christopher S Adam, Mr. Andrew Berg, and Mr. Peter J Montiel
VAR methods suggest that the monetary transmission mechanism may be weak and unreliable in
low-income countries (LICs). But are structural VARs identified via short-run restrictions capable
of detecting a transmission mechanism when one exists, under research conditions typical of these
countries? Using small DSGEs as data-generating processes, we assess the impact on VAR-based
inference of short data samples, measurement error, high-frequency supply shocks, and other
features of the LIC environment. The impact of these features on finite-sample bias appears to be
relatively modest when identification is valid—a strong caveat, especially in LICs. However,
many of these features undermine the precision of estimated impulse responses to monetary policy
shocks, and cumulatively they suggest that “insignificant” results can be expected even when the
underlying transmission mechanism is strong.