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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Grenada’s economy was hit hard by the pandemic, with a decline in real output of 14 percent in 2020 from both a collapse of tourism-related activities and the suspension of in-person classes at Saint George’s University (SGU). Growth in 2021 is estimated to have partly recovered to 5.6 percent, driven by construction and agriculture. The authorities’ policy response helped mitigate the pandemic’s impact through containment measures, increased health and social spending, and an expanded public investment program (including to build resilience to natural disasters). Central government debt rose to 70 percent of GDP in 2021 (from 59 percent in 2019) and the external position has worsened. The financial sector has so far weathered the crisis well.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Natural disasters and climate change are existential threats to Grenada, with annual losses from these events estimated at 1.7 percent of GDP. Grenada has proactively pursued resilience-building, with its Climate Change Policy and National Adaptation Plan providing detailed roadmaps for policymakers. However, the challenges are increasing, including from slow-moving effects owing to the rising sea level, even as implementation capacity and resource constraints remain significant impediments. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified those challenges by increasing risks and tightening Grenada’s fiscal space.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The fallout from the COVID-19 crisis is hitting ECCU economies hard. Tourism receipts (accounting for nearly 40 percent of GDP) have dried up, as tourist arrivals have come to a grinding halt. The authorities successfully contained the spread of the virus at the onset of the pandemic by largely closing the borders, but a reopening of the economies since the summer has led to a surge in COVID cases. The ECCU economy is projected to contract by 16 percent in 2020 and by a further near ½ percent in 2021. Fiscal positions have deteriorated sharply, and public debt is projected to reach near 90 percent of GDP in 2021 and remain at an elevated level for years to come. Headline indicators suggest the financial system is relatively sound with ample liquidity buffers, but nonperforming loans are expected to rise significantly. The outlook is clouded by exceptionally high risks, including from the uncertainty concerning the evolution of the pandemic.
Johanna Tiedemann, Veronica Piatkov, Dinar Prihardini, Juan Carlos Benitez, and Ms. Aleksandra Zdzienicka
Small Developing States (SDS) face substantial challenges in achieving sustainable development. Many of these challenges relate to the small size and limited diversification of their economies. SDS are also among the most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change and natural disasters. Meeting SDS sustainable development goals goes hand-in-hand with building their climate resilience. But the additional costs to meet development and resilience objectives are substantial and difficult to finance. This work adapts the IMF SDG Costing methodology to capture the unique characteristics and challenges of climate-vulnerable SDS. It also zooms into financing options, estimating domestic tax potential and discussing the possibility of accessing ‘climate funds.’
Mr. Alejandro D Guerson
This paper estimates insurance requirements against natural disasters (NDs) in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) using an insurance layering framework. The layers include a government saving fund, as well as market instruments. Each layer is calibrated to cover estimated fiscal cost of NDs according to intensity and expected damage. The results indicate that ECCU countries could target saving fund stocks for relativelly smaller and more frequent events in the range of 6-12 percent of GDP, enough to cover 95 percent of NDs’ fiscal costs. To ensure financially-sustainable saving funds with a low probability of depletion, this requires annual budget savings in the range os 0.5 to 1.9 percent of GDP per year. Additional coverage could be obtained with market instruments for large and less frequent events, albeit at a significant cost.The results are based on a Monte-Carlo experiment that simulates natural disaster shocks and their impact on output and government finances.