International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) was conducted amid an economic rebound two years into the COVID-19 pandemic that had a limited impact on the financial sector. Several member states have experienced political instability, with coups in Burkina Faso and Mali leading to economic sanctions for the latter, and an attempted coup in Guinea-Bissau. Yet, short of further political deterioration, economic recovery is expected to persist. The last FSAP was conducted in 2008.
The WAEMU has, so far, demonstrated strong resilience to the Covid crisis. The economic rebound that started in the second half of 2020 firmed up in 2021, while fiscal and monetary policies remained supportive. External reserves have risen to comfortable levels and the financial system appears to be broadly sound. However, the region faces significant challenges to ensure the sustainability of macroeconomic policies, while supporting the economic recovery and navigating the uncertain outlook.
Sailendra Pattanayak, Racheeda Boukezia, Yasemin Hurcan, and Ramon Hurtado
Fiscal institutional capacity in most fragile states (FS) and several low-income developing countries (LIDCs) is much lower than in other countries. Governments in these countries face several cash management challenges because they often lack credible budgets, have smaller and less diversified revenue bases, have limited access to financial markets, and rely largely on donors to fund a large portion of their budgets. Available public funds in these countries often remain dispersed outside the control of the ministry of finance. In the absence of a good cash forecasting function, these countries typically resort to cash rationing to meet their priority spending needs, often in an ad hoc manner, which can adversely affect budget execution and achievement of fiscal policy targets. This note sets out the key objectives and building blocks of a cash management function in FS and LIDCs. It suggests several measures to progressively build cash management capacity in three interrelated areas: consolidating cash resources, forecasting cash flows, and managing cash balances with sound institutional setups.
After two years of protracted political turmoil and delays in reforms, the authorities put in place in 2021 an ambitious fiscal consolidation program to ensure debt sustainability while creating fiscal space to address vast developmental needs. In late July, Fund Management approved a 9-month Staff Monitored Program (SMP) to support the government’s reform program aimed at stabilizing the economy, strengthening governance, and building a soundtrack-record of policy implementation towards an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. The first review was concluded satisfactorily in October. A Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) disbursement of SDR 14.2 million (50 percent of quota) was approved in January to provide urgent financing to support critical spending in health and catalyze additional donor resources. The RCF disbursement, the SDR 27.2 million allocation (96 percent of quota) and reforms underpinned by the SMP are contributing to address fragility including the adverse impact of the pandemic, improve government spending transparency and mitigate debt vulnerabilities, and create conditions that would help restore donor confidence and catalyze much-needed concessional financing.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Over the course of the pandemic, the Fund has made several modifications to the access limits on the use of Fund’s resources to increase the borrowing space under the hard caps on emergency financing and under the annual limits that trigger exceptional access (EA) safeguards under GRA and PRGT. The current temporarily-increased access limits expire at end-December 2021, and absent policy changes, the limits would return to the lower pre-pandemic levels or to the new PRGT annual access limit. Staff proposes to let all access limits return to pre-pandemic levels (or the new PRGT annual access limit), with the exception of the cumulative access limits for emergency financing instruments, which would be extended at the current level for another 18 months.