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International Monetary Fund
This Joint Staff Advisory Note describes the progress made on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in Sierra Leone on the basis of the June 2008 progress report. The report analyzes key elements of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), including: macroeconomic performance; good governance, peace, and security; pro-poor sustainable growth for food security and job creation; human resource development; and monitoring and evaluation of the PRS. The progress report correctly indicates that implementation of poverty reduction programs suffered setbacks owing to weak revenue performance and delays in external budget support since late 2006.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses key findings of the 2006 Article IV Consultation and Third Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility for Niger. Macroeconomic performance and policy implementation have been broadly satisfactory. After a drought in 2004, a bumper harvest in late 2005 and good rains in 2006 have helped economic recovery, improved food security, and eased inflation. The fiscal deficit in 2006 is expected to be narrower than programmed, reflecting mainly lower spending on investment and food security.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Global food aid serves as a critical safety net for poor countries. But does food aid reach those who most need it when they most need it? And, more broadly, has it generally been effective in “smoothing” consumption patterns—that is, averting sharp changes in the overall availability offood? In a new IMF Working Paper, “Foreign Aid and Consumption Smoothing: Evidence from Global Food Aid,” Sanjeev Gupta, Benedict Clements, and Erwin R. Tiongson examine the cyclical properties offood aid and evaluate how successful it has been in helping the economies it targets.

International Monetary Fund

Malawi has made satisfactory economic progress under the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement. Executive Directors commended fiscal consolidation, structural reforms, and monetary policy, and stressed the need to maintain macroeconomic stability. They welcomed the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, which is aimed to attain the Millennium Development Goals. They agreed that Malawi attained the successful completion of the first review under the PRGF arrangement and approved a waiver, extension of arrangement, and an interim assistance under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Debt Initiative.

International Monetary Fund

This paper discusses key findings of the 2006 Article IV Consultation and Third Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility for Niger. Macroeconomic performance and policy implementation have been broadly satisfactory. After a drought in 2004, a bumper harvest in late 2005 and good rains in 2006 have helped economic recovery, improved food security, and eased inflation. The fiscal deficit in 2006 is expected to be narrower than programmed, reflecting mainly lower spending on investment and food security.

International Monetary Fund

The Second Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility of Rwanda explains macroeconomic challenges. Indicative limits on domestic debt have been established. If these limits are exceeded or inflation is rekindled, the domestic component of fiscal spending must be released more gradually. On the structural side, the focus remains on public financial management (PFM) and the financial sector. The authorities’ financial sector development plan is a sound basis for building long-term financial markets.