Afghanistan
HIPC Initiative Paper

This report examines the Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative paper on Afghanistan. Afghanistan has made sufficient progress in meeting the completion point triggers, despite a challenging environment during the HIPC interim period, marked by increasing insecurity in parts of the country and the global fuel and food crisis. It has fully implemented the triggers on preparing and implementing a poverty reduction strategy paper, maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment, improving debt management and public financial and expenditure management, and improving the business environment.

Abstract

This report examines the Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative paper on Afghanistan. Afghanistan has made sufficient progress in meeting the completion point triggers, despite a challenging environment during the HIPC interim period, marked by increasing insecurity in parts of the country and the global fuel and food crisis. It has fully implemented the triggers on preparing and implementing a poverty reduction strategy paper, maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment, improving debt management and public financial and expenditure management, and improving the business environment.

I. Introduction

1. This paper discusses the progress made by Afghanistan under the enhanced HIPC initiative. It recommends that the Executive Directors of the IMF and IDA agree that Afghanistan has achieved completion point under the enhanced HIPC initiative. In the view of staffs, Afghanistan has made sufficient progress in meeting the completion point triggers, despite a challenging environment during the HIPC interim period, marked by increasing insecurity in parts of the country and the global fuel and food crisis. In particular, it has fully implemented the triggers on preparing and implementing a PRSP, maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment, improving debt management and public financial and expenditure management, and improving the business environment. Two of the eleven triggers have been not fully implemented, specifically, the trigger on designing a pension reform for public employees and the military and the trigger on restructuring of four key service delivery ministries. The authorities are requesting waivers for these two triggers based on the progress made so far.

2. In July 2007, the Boards of Executive Directors of the IMF and IDA agreed that Afghanistan had met the requirements for reaching the decision point under the enhanced HIPC initiative. The amount of debt relief determined at the decision point was US$571.4 million in March 20, 20062 NPV terms, calculated to reduce the NPV of eligible external debt to 150 percent of exports at March 20, 2006. This relief represented an overall reduction of 51.0 percent in the NPV of all public and publicly guaranteed external debt as of March 20, 2006, after the application of traditional debt relief mechanisms. At the same time, the Executive Directors of IDA agreed to provide Afghanistan with interim relief until the country reached the completion point. Interim assistance was also granted by the Asian Development Bank (AsDB) and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development (OFID). Paris Club creditors provided debt relief through flow rescheduling on Cologne terms. The Executive Directors of the IMF and IDA decided that the floating completion point would be reached when the triggers in Box 4 of the decision point document had been met.3

3. Staffs recognize the extraordinarily difficult situation of Afghanistan and the commendable efforts by the authorities in implementing complex reforms. Since the HIPC decision point, the security environment deteriorated markedly, and the country faced a period of political uncertainty in the run-up and during the second Presidential elections of August 2009. Yet the authorities kept their reform efforts focused on implementing key reform measures as required under the HIPC floating completion point triggers. The success achieved in most reform areas is noteworthy under these circumstances.

4. This document is organized as follows: Section II provides an assessment of achievements in meeting the requirements for the completion point for Afghanistan; Section III discusses the amount of debt and debt relief expected, as well as the debt sustainability outlook after the provision of relief; Section IV summarizes the main conclusions; and Section V puts forward the issues for discussion by the Boards of the IMF and IDA.

II. Assessment of Requirements for Reaching the Completion Point

5. Afghanistan has made sufficient progress in meeting the triggers for reaching the completion point. The conditions for reaching the floating completion point are set out in Box 4 of the decision point document and the progress in reaching them is assessed in Box 1 below.

Status of Floating Completion Point Triggers

article image
article image
article image
article image
article image
article image

A. PRSP Implementation

6. Afghanistan’s first full PRSP was approved by President Karzai in April 2008. After adopting an interim PSRP in 2007, the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) was finalized in April 2008. The ANDS was prepared after extensive consultations with over 17,000 participants representing all 34 provinces despite severe logistical challenges. The participants included representatives from government, civil society, the private sector, and general public at all levels, and nearly half those consulted were women.

7. The ANDS was discussed by the IDA and IMF Boards in June 2008. The JSAN4 noted that the ANDS provided a reasonable basis for Afghanistan to move forward in addressing the difficult development challenges it faces. At the same time, the JSAN highlighted the need for improvements in prioritization across sectors, and stepped up reforms in Public Financial Management (PFM), Public Administration reform (PAR) and the fight against corruption, in order for the strategy to have good prospects for success. The JSAN underscored the importance of moving to the implementation stage, anchored in the existing institutions of the government, and encouraged the authorities to streamline and focus the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework. Besides continuing concern about the aid effectiveness agenda, the JSAN also noted that the planned large increase in expenditure implied that fiscal sustainability (defined as revenues covering operating spending) would be further jeopardized.

8. The government is working toward further improvements in the M&E process, as well as integrating ANDS priorities into the budget process. The government has made important efforts in establishing the ANDS coordinating mechanism and is in the process of establishing a Results Based Management approach as the base for a meaningful M&E Framework. There are ongoing efforts by the government to finalize with donor assistance the analysis of the National Risk and Vulnerability Analysis (NRVA) 2008 household survey. These results will enable the authorities to refine development priorities and link poverty reduction objectives more clearly with policy recommendations for sector strategies. However, an updated poverty diagnostic, based on the NRVA 2008, is not available yet.

9. The staffs of the IMF and IDA conclude that the trigger on preparation and satisfactory implementation of the PRSP in 2008/09 has been met. The government’s APR for 2008/09 and the accompanying JSAN have been submitted to the IDA and IMF Boards jointly with this document. The APR reflects on a year of government efforts in an extremely challenging environment characterized by a fragile security situation. While progress was made in macroeconomic management and on health and education sector policies—reflected in some Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—achievements in other sectors were modest. A deteriorating security situation, continuing capacity constraints, and severe governance limitations have hampered the government’s ability to implement much needed reforms and embark on sustained economic development and poverty reduction.

B. Macroeconomic Performance

10. Macroeconomic policies since the decision point in June 2007 have been guided by the PRGF-supported arrangement. The arrangement was originally set for June 2006 to June 2009, but is expected to be extended until June 2010. Performance under the PRGF arrangement has been broadly satisfactory despite minor delays in completing some reviews, and the Sixth Review was completed on January 13, 2010.

11. Economic growth has been high but volatile, and inflation has been appropriately managed. Growth averaged 8 percent during 2006/07–2008/09, mainly driven by agriculture (which accounts for 25 percent of GDP) and donor inflows. During 2006/07 and 2008/09, drought hampered growth, but economic activity recovered in the year afterward, as weather conditions improved. Growth is projected to be 15 percent in 2009/10. Sustaining growth over the medium term depends on reforms to improve governance, increase transparency, and improve the business environment. Inflation has generally remained below 10 percent, except for a surge in 2007/08, due to a drought and higher global prices for food and fuel. Inflation is projected to be 6 percent or less by end-March 2010. The exchange rate has experienced a slight nominal appreciation since March 2009, but remains close to its five-year average in real effective terms.

12. Fiscal sustainability has been a continuing concern. Revenue performance was weak during 2006/07-2008/09, averaging 7.1 percent of GDP, but has since picked up, and is projected to exceed 8 percent of GDP in 2009/10. However, the tax-to-GDP ratio remains low by international standards, and future increases will depend on sustained reforms in tax policy and administration. At the same time, the budget has been subject to substantial spending pressures, both on security and non-security outlays, which have led to a worsening of the fiscal balance excluding grants. During 2009/10, the fiscal balance excluding grants is projected to deteriorate, mainly due to security needs. However, the authorities have so far managed to tightly constrain non-security operating expenditures. Nevertheless, spending pressures will remain high over the medium term, underscoring the need for careful prioritization of spending, revenue mobilization, and continued high levels of donor support.

13. Large fiscal and balance of payments deficits have been financed by official transfers. Grants have amounted to at least 50 percent of GDP every year since the decision point, and have served to cover the budget and external current account deficits, while allowing for a buildup of foreign exchange reserves. Since the decision point, the external current account deficit excluding official transfers has averaged about 60 percent of GDP. Including transfers, the current account deficit has averaged about 2 percent of GDP. Gross international reserves have almost doubled since 2005/06 and cover 13 months of imports.

Table 1.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Selected Economic Indicators, 2005/06–2009/10

article image
Sources: Afghan authorities and Fund staff estimates and projections.

14. The IMF and IDA staffs consider that Afghanistan has implemented the trigger on the maintenance of macroeconomic stability. As noted above, and despite sluggish revenue collection in earlier years and delays in implementing structural measures, performance under the PRGF-supported program has been satisfactory.

C. Debt Management

15. Afghanistan has greatly improved debt management capacity. The government has managed to address significant technical and human resource constraints in debt management. The authorities have acquired new computers, a computerized Debt Management and Financial Analysis System (DMFAS) is operational, and the capacity of the debt department has been reinforced through the recruitment of new staff and on-going training. As a result, the authorities have been publishing quarterly debt reports in a timely manner that include information by creditor on debt stocks, disbursements and debt service payments for the preceding quarter, and projected disbursements and debt service for the next three quarters.

16. The IMF and IDA staffs conclude that the trigger on improving debt management capacity has been implemented. To consolidate recent gains, the immediate priorities should be maintaining the debt database including through better tracking of disbursements and increasing the number of skilled staff. In the medium term, the debt unit should build capacity to undertake analytical work.

D. Public Expenditure Policy

Budget Alignment with the PRSP

17. The government budget reflects the public spending priorities and has been aligned with the I-ANDS and, subsequently, ANDS priorities. The ANDS was developed to set the national priorities that would help coordinate, and ultimately integrate the government budget and other public sector expenditures financed outside the budget. Budget documents explicitly discuss the alignment, and the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) attached to the budget provides a medium-term projection of expenditure alignment with ANDS priorities. While the staffs regard the current alignment as sufficient, budget fragmentation and large donor disbursements outside the government budget, loosely coordinated with the Ministry of Finance (MoF), hamper the capacity of the government budget to be an effective strategic tool to implement the ANDS. The JSAN therefore recommends a better prioritization in many sectors to improve the effectiveness of the ANDS to guide the strategic allocation of resources. The Aid Coordination Unit at the MoF has created a unified reporting framework, which has not yet been fully utilized by donors.

18. The IMF and IDA staffs conclude that the trigger on alignment of public spending priorities with the ANDS has been implemented. The simplified program-oriented budgeting model being introduced will, eventually, unify budget presentation and improve expenditure allocation and management. The key objective of the Program Budgeting reform is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditure by linking the funding of public entities with the results they deliver. This reform will help to channel resources through the government budget rather than externally. Strong political leadership is needed to implement this major reform.

Pension Reforms

19. Some aspects of the pension reform still need to be addressed, but important progress has been made towards the design of a fiscally sustainable pension system for public employees and the military. The pension regulations for non-uniformed civil servants were finalized (with input from IDA staff) and approved by Cabinet in July 2009. The effort shifted then to the drafting of the corresponding regulation for the uniformed civil servants, which required amendments to the country’s military code (i.e. the Afghanistan National Army Law). The Cabinet approved in October 2009 the amendments to the military code. The pension regulations for uniformed civil servants were approved by Cabinet in January 11, 2010 and reflect principles outlined by IDA technical assistance. Also with input from IDA staff, a strategy note on reforms of the benefit scheme for the families of martyrs and disabled (with IDA input) was approved by the government, but still needs to be reconciled through amendments with the Laws on Martyrs and Disabled. Once these reforms are finalized, the full fiscal impact can be calculated, although representatives from the Ministry of Finance have been participating in the pension and benefit design meetings. In parallel, the implementation on a pension administration reform program in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MOLSAMD) was initiated with IDA support. The objective of this program is to modernize processes of pension claims and payments in the Pension Department and implement the new pension regulations.

20. Staffs of IDA and IMF conclude that the trigger on pension design for public employees and the military has been substantially implemented, and support the waiver request on the basis of commitments going forward. Full compliance with the trigger is taking longer than expected because the two laws for regulating the benefits for the disabled and for the martyrs and survivors are still in need of amendments. While the government has adopted a strategy of reform for the benefit scheme of martyr families and disabled, but the current laws approved by Parliament do not reflect the fiscal sustainability principles outlined in the strategy. For that reason, the government rejected the laws and referred them for further deliberation to the Supreme Court. In that process, it will suggest amendments to the laws, based on the agreed parameters in the government’s strategy note. It is expected that amendments to the laws will be approved by an inter-ministerial working group by March 2010 and subsequently discussed by the Supreme Court. In view of the considerable progress, the authorities request that a waiver be granted for this trigger.] The implementation of the new pension regulation and benefit schemes will be a key next step for the authorities. The government is also committed to further progress in the area of pensions by: (i) strengthening links between PAR and retirement policy, in particular, in the implementation of the new pension system and the modernization of claims processing and benefit delivery; (ii) establishing capacity, e.g. on actuarial analysis, to be able to calibrate the parameters of the pension program to facilitating sustainable budgeting; and (iii) developing affordable mechanisms for the liquidation of pension liabilities under the legacy pension scheme.

Restructuring Core Service Delivery Ministries

21. The legal framework for civil service management was strengthened with the adoption of the unified Personal Affairs Regulations by Cabinet in July 2009. Together with the Civil Servant Law and Pay & Grading (P&G) scale of June 2008 the regulations set out the main provisions for the overall PAR implementation.5 Restructuring in four key service delivery ministries, Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) has started. A crucial step to facilitate a successful PAR implementation is the establishment of Reform Implementation Management Units (RIMUs) and Human Resource (HR) departments in these ministries, but this has not been achieved yet. The first phase of the P&G process, the re-grading of positions has been completed in all four ministries. The second phase of the re-appointment process of qualified civil servants to these new positions is advanced in MAIL and MRRD and still in initial stages at MOPH and MOE. The quality of the merit-based recruitment process for the top-grade positions of the new P&G scale, under oversight of the Independent Appointment Board (IAB), was reviewed regularly by a third party (with IDA support). Progress in the implementation of key recommendations from previous evaluation rounds with the goal to increase the quality of the process is deemed satisfactory, although there remains room for further improvements.

22. Staffs of IDA and the IMF conclude that the trigger on the restructuring of key government ministries has been substantially implemented, and support the waiver request on the basis of commitments going forward. Full compliance with the trigger is taking longer because of the more extensive nature of the public administration reform process chosen by the authorities (not envisaged by the completion point trigger). It is expected that the RIMUs and HR departments at the MOPH, MOE, MAIL and MRRD will be fully staffed by the end of 2009/10. The re-appointment process is anticipated to be completed in all four ministries in 2010. The recent third-party review of the merit-based recruitment system in Afghanistan points out a number of challenges and proposes strategies to improve the oversight function of the IAB. It is expected that the report will form the base for future dialogue with the authorities on further reforms in this area. The authorities request that a waiver be granted on the basis of progress to date and their continued commitment to advance reforms under this trigger. For the coming years, the government is committed to widen and deepen the PAR implementation by: (i) completing the P&G process within a reasonable timeframe; (ii) extending PAR to the sub-national levels; and (iii) ensuring the roll-out of civil service training nation-wide. The adoption of an agreed government-wide approach to capacity development and technical assistance could help build a civil service that is motivated and recruited on meritocratic principles.

E. Public Financial Management

Medium-Term Fiscal Framework

23. The three-year MTFF is consistent with macroeconomic goals and the ANDS priorities and is regularly updated. The MTFF covers the budget and key government cross-cutting fiscal issues, including the costing of fiscal policies that have long-term fiscal implications (e.g., civil service reform, the expansion of the army and security spending, subsidy to the public electricity company, and pension reform). Until recently, there was no capacity to make independent revenue forecasts but over the last few months, the revenue department has been developing a revenue-forecasting model. The Fiscal Policy Unit, responsible for the MTFF, has also improved its analytical capacity, although it still needs to play a strategic role in setting fiscal priorities.

24. The IMF and IDA staffs conclude that the trigger on the production of a MTFF consistent with the PRGF and ANDS priorities has been implemented. The MTFF should be strengthened by finalizing the revenue forecasting model incorporating tax policy analysis, and discussing alternative policy options. It should also provide the authorities with strategic advice when key policy initiatives with medium-term implications are being discussed. The MTFF should focus on discussing changes in macro-fiscal trends and discuss why deviations from previous projections occur. Risks to the macroeconomic framework, such as overspending or revenue shortfalls, should be identified, as well as potential corrective actions.

Tracking Poverty-related Expenditure

25. The key objective of the ANDS is poverty reduction, and effective targeting of resources depends on the ability to track poverty-related expenditure. Since the development of the Afghanistan Financial Management Information System (AFMIS), administrative, functional and economic classifications are already in place and provide a reasonable basis for tracking expenditures, including those deemed to be poverty related. The functional classification of expenditures is reported at a disaggregated level, which allows a more detailed tracking of pro-poor spending on government budget execution data.

26. The IMF and IDA staffs conclude that the trigger on the tracking of poverty-related spending has been implemented. While the system of tracking poverty-related expenditure is adequate, available execution data will have to be complemented with a simple program classification that would provide additional information for more detailed policy analysis. This will allow for the consolidation of the operating and development budgets according to a simple program structure. Pilot programs were started in fiscal year 2008/09 in some key ministries (MOPH, MOE, and MRRD), extended to 16 ministries in 2009/10, and should cover 20 ministries by 2010/11. An improved program classification will also allow for an agreed-upon definition of poverty-related spending at a detailed level and better targeting of expenditures. In particular, given the role of education in poverty reduction, primary and secondary education expenditures will need to be tracked separately.

Improving Budget Audits

27. The audit system was considerably strengthened through the addition of semi-annual audit reports with follow-up results to previous recommendations. First, the independent review by the Auditor General of the budget’s financial statements (Qatia) was presented to Parliament within six months following year-end; this is the fourth consecutive year, including for the most recent year 2008/09. Second, improvements in audit follow-up are reflected in the most recent semi-annual Central Audit Office (CAO) report on audit results, submitted to the President in July 2009 (and subsequently forwarded to Parliament). It contains a chapter and attachment on the status of actions taken in response to important findings identified in the Qatia audit. The report also contains an itemized status report on major recommendations from the previous year and a summary with the percentage of recommendations from the previous year which where fulfilled for each audit. It is expected that this type of follow-up reporting on audit findings will become a regular part of the semi-annual audit process. Additionally, the Auditor General initiated in October 2009 the formation of a Commission on Qatia Audit with the goal to improve the Qatia audits as well as review with the MOF the format and content of the Qatia.

28. The IMF and IDA staffs conclude that the trigger on the submission of budget audits to Parliament has been implemented. It is expected that the legal framework for a modern audit function will soon be finalized, with Parliament approval of the Audit Law by end-2009/10. Beyond that, the authorities are committed to further improving the audit system by focusing on: (i) improving CAO’s relationship and communication with Parliament and other stakeholders; and (ii) raising the capacity of the CAO to work independently and to a high standard. The second goal is supported by the CAO’s Development Strategy whose vision is to attain credibility and capacity at par with other supreme audit institutions. The CAO has committed to raise the capacity of its staff through a comprehensive training program involving compulsory training and other formal training qualifications.

F. Business Environment and Economic Development

Mining Sector Reforms

29. The authorities established the basis for a modern mining cadastre and enacted a sound legal framework for the mining sector. With IDA support, the mining and hydrocarbon cadastre became fully operational in 2009. Key components of the legal framework for the mining sector were completed. After a lengthy legal process, the revised Hydrocarbon Law and the Mineral Law were gazetted in February 2009. Due to this longer than expected process the finalization and implementation of the related hydrocarbon and the mining regulations were initially delayed. However, both regulations were finalized, enacted by Cabinet in late 2009, and are ready for implementation. The hydrocarbon regulations were approved by Cabinet in October 2009, and were subsequently revised to become consistent with the government’s procurement rules. The mining regulations were approved by Cabinet in December 2009. The mining regulations are generally in accordance with international practice and provide a reasonable basis for attracting investment to the mining sector and for the sustainable development of mining operations. They are consistent with the Minerals Law and the government is committed to develop in 2010 separate mining guidelines, including operational and administrative procedures. Additionally, in March 2009, the government publicly committed to the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). As part of this commitment, the government started to fulfill key requirements to become an EITI candidate country.

30. The IMF and IDA staffs conclude that the trigger on the adoption of mining sector reforms has been implemented. The authorities have made satisfactory progress on the establishment of the mining and hydrocarbon cadastre, and the regulatory framework for the mining sector was finalized. Future mining sector reforms will need to be accompanied by institutional and human capacity building (with IDA support) for monitoring and employment related to mining.6 Since one of the potential sources of future growth and fiscal revenue for Afghanistan is its natural resources, increased transparency and good governance in the mining sector, including through the implementation of the EITI in Afghanistan, will be crucial.

Transparency and Accountability in Service Provision

31. Transparency and accountability for service delivery in the education and health sectors was improved through regular annual reporting and third-party assessments. The MOPH reports regularly on health sector results through its web-page using data from several sources, including the Health Management Information System, several rounds of Afghanistan household surveys (i.e., the NRVA), and the Health Service Performance Assessment -a health facility surveys conducted by Johns Hopkins University. The MOPH also produced an annual report for 2008/09 (posted on the internet) that analyzes available data on service provision, health care financing, and progress toward key strategic outputs and outcomes. It is linked to the health sector strategy and it identifies challenges and provides policy recommendations. The MOE published a comprehensive report in July 2009 based on data from the latest school survey for the Education Management Information System with student enrollment and attendance data, data on teachers and school facilities, and exam results. In addition, the national education program is producing regular monthly and quarterly progress reports (posted on the internet), and in March 2009, a first phase (2004–08) progress report was published including an assessment of school grants usage. Lastly, school grant usage information is publicly posted locally to enhance community awareness and accountability.

32. The IMF and IDA staffs conclude that the trigger on publication of government and third-party data on health and education services has been implemented. It is expected that good transparency and accountability for service delivery in education and health will continue to facilitate progress toward the MDGs. One of the three pillars of the ANDS is economic and social development, including improving human development indicators and making significant progress towards the MDGs. As part of the health sector strategy, the government aims to expand coverage of the Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) to at least 90 percent of the population by 2010. It also seeks to supplement the BPHS with investment in the hospital sector. Through the expansion of the BPHS and the Essential Package of Hospital Services, the government is targeting a reduction in the under-5 mortality rate and the maternal mortality rate by 50 percent within the period 2003–2013. In education, the government intends by 2010 to attain the following goals: (i) increase net enrolment in primary schools for girls and boys to at least at 60 and 75 percent, respectively; (ii) develop a new curriculum and operationalize it in all secondary schools; (iii) increase the number of female teachers by 50 percent; (iv) ensure that a competency test is passed by 70 percent of teachers; and (v) put in place a system for assessing learning achievement.

III. Updated Debt Relief and Debt Sustainability Analysis

A. Data Reconciliation

33. The stock of HIPC-eligible external debt in NPV terms at March 20, 2006 increased slightly following the debt reconciliation exercise. The staffs of IDA and the IMF, together with the Afghan authorities, reviewed the March 20, 2006 stock of debt data that was presented in the decision point document against recent creditor statements. As a result, the nominal stock of debt has been augmented by US$22.6 million to US$11,962.1 million and the NPV of debt after traditional debt relief has been revised upward by US$11.1 million to US$1,131.1 million (Table 3).

  • Multilateral creditors. The debt owed to multilateral creditors as of March 20, 2006 remains at US$557.3 million in nominal terms, which corresponds to US$264.7 million in March 20, 2006 NPV terms.

  • Paris Club creditors. The nominal stock of debt owed to Paris Club creditors at March 20, 2006 has been revised downward from US$11,283.5 million to US$11,266.1 million. The difference of US$17.5 million is attributable to the updated information received from creditors.

  • Other official bilateral creditors. The nominal stock of debt owed to other official bilateral creditors has been revised upward by about US$39.5 million, equivalent to US$13.1 million in NPV terms. This amount includes debts owed to the Slovak Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran amounting to US$30 million and US$10 million, respectively. The debt owed to the Slovak Republic was cancelled in October 2005. However, this amount was reinstated into the decision point database to take better account of creditors’ debt relief efforts made before the decision point in the form of outright debt cancellations.7 Iran’s old sovereign claims were identified after the decision point.

  • Commercial creditors. A nominal amount of US$0.6 million owed to Bulgarian commercial creditors has been added to the March 20, 2006 debt stock. At the time of the decision point, this debt was not included in the stock of HIPC-eligible debt pending verification of status. In NPV terms, after traditional debt relief this debt amounted to US$0.2 million.

34. Exports of goods and services remain unchanged. The estimates of the 2003/04-2005/06 average of exports of goods and services used to evaluate HIPC assistance at the decision point remain at US$365.7 million.8

B. Revision of HIPC Assistance and Status of Creditor Participation

35. HIPC assistance in NPV terms has been revised upward from US$571.4 million estimated at the decision point to US$582.4 million. The common reduction factor has marginally increased from 51.0 percent to 51.5 percent (Table 4).9 The revised HIPC assistance in nominal terms is estimated at US$1.3 billion.

36. Afghanistan has received financing assurances by creditors for participation in the enhanced HIPC Initiative accounting for 97.7 percent of the NPV of HIPC assistance estimated at the decision point (Table 11). All multilateral (23.4 percent of total HIPC assistance) and all Paris Club creditors (72.5 percent) have confirmed their participation. Some of non-Paris Club creditors have already provided debt relief in the form of outright cancellation of all their claims. The authorities are working toward reaching agreements on provision of debt relief at completion point with all remaining creditors.

Multilateral creditors

37. The revised amount of HIPC assistance from multilateral creditors is US$136.3 million in end-March 2006 NPV terms. IDA and the AsDB have provided interim assistance through debt service reduction.10 OFID has also provided part of its share of HIPC debt relief through concessional rescheduling of arrears that were outstanding at the decision point during the interim period.

  • IDA: Debt relief from IDA amounts to US$75.9 million in NPV terms at the decision point. Of this amount, IDA has delivered US$8.6 million in NPV terms (US$9.2 million in nominal terms) through a 74.8 percent reduction in debt service falling due during the interim period. Upon reaching the completion point, the remaining assistance from IDA, amounting to US$67.4 million in NPV terms (US$116.7 million in nominal terms), would be provided in the form of a 75.6 percent reduction of Afghanistan’s debt service to IDA through June 2027 (Table 12).

  • AsDB: Debt relief from AsDB amounts to US$59.4 million in NPV terms at the decision point. Of this amount, AsDB has delivered US$1.5 million in NPV terms (US$2.1 million in nominal terms) through a 74.8 percent reduction in debt service falling due during the interim period. Upon reaching the completion point, the remaining assistance from AsDB, amounting to US$57.4 million in NPV terms (US$104.0million in nominal terms), would be provided in the form of a 75.6 percent reduction of Afghanistan’s debt service to AsDB through February 2028.

  • OFID: Debt relief from OFID amounts to US$981,000 in NPV terms at the decision point. OFID has delivered US$578,000 in NPV terms through a concessional rescheduling of accrued arrears and maturities.

Bilateral and commercial creditors

38. Paris Club creditors have agreed in principle to provide their share of enhanced HIPC assistance. The assistance is estimated at US$422.5 million in end-March 2006 NPV terms, in accordance with the revised assistance (Table 4). Interim assistance, estimated at US$16.4 million in end-March 2006 NPV terms, has been provided through a flow treatment on Cologne terms, agreed in July 2007. Paris Club creditors declared their readiness in principle to provide their full share of assistance at the completion point. The full share of assistance at the completion point is expected to be provided through a stock-of-debt reduction. Paris Club creditors have also indicated that they would provide additional assistance beyond HIPC relief through 100 percent stock-of-debt cancellation, estimated at about US$135.4 million in end-March, 2009 NPV terms (Table 14).

39. Non-Paris Club bilateral creditors are assumed to provide relief on HIPC-eligible debt on terms comparable to those of the Paris Club. The NPV of HIPC relief at end-March 2006 is estimated to be US$23.5 million, after application of hypothetical traditional debt relief mechanism. Several creditors (representing 1.8 percent of total HIPC-eligible debt) have already provided outright cancellation of all their claims.11 Other official creditors, such as Bulgaria (1.4 percent of total HIPC-eligible debt), and Kuwait (0.6 percent) have agreed in principle to provide debt relief at the completion point.

40. Expected relief of commercial loans totals US$0.5 million in end-March 2006 NPV terms, representing an 84 percent debt reduction (equivalent to 51.5 percent of common reduction factor). Negotiations with the Bulgarian authorities on possible debt relief at completion point include commercial claims of US$0.6 million.

C. Considerations for Exceptional Topping-Up Assistance

41. The Debt Relief Analysis (DRA) has been updated jointly by the authorities and the IMF and IDA staffs on the basis of loan-by-loan debt data, and exchange rates and interest rates as of March 20, 2009 (Table 5).12 As of March 20, 2009, the nominal stock of Afghanistan’s external debt amounted to US$2.1 billion (Table 8). Multilateral creditors accounted for 47.6 percent of total debt, of which AsDB and IDA accounted for 22.7 and 20.6 percent, respectively. Paris Club creditors accounted for 46.4 percent. Russia remained Afghanistan’s largest creditor accounting for 40.4 percent of total outstanding nominal debt at March 20, 2009. Non-Paris Club creditors accounted for 6.0 percent of total debt, of which the largest creditors were Bulgaria (2.3 percent), Saudi Arabia (2.2 percent)13, and Kuwait (1 percent).

42. The enhanced HIPC Initiative framework allows for the provision, on an exceptional basis, of additional debt relief (or “topping-up”) at the completion point. Additional debt relief is provided if a country’s actual debt burden indicators have deteriorated compared to the decision point projection and this deterioration is primarily attributable to a fundamental change in a country’s economic circumstances due to exogenous factors.14 Additional debt relief may in this case be provided to bring the NPV of debt-to-exports ratio down to the 150 percent threshold at the completion point.15

43. Afghanistan does not qualify for topping-up. The NPV of debt-to-exports ratio at the March 20, 2009—after full delivery of the assistance committed at the decision point—is now estimated at 88.3 percent, 11.4 percentage points below the projection at the time of the decision point. At that time, the NPV of debt-to-exports ratio at March 20, 2009 was projected to be 99.7 percent. The NPV of debt-to-exports ratio—after the full delivery of the additional bilateral debt relief beyond the HIPC initiative at March 20, 2009—is even lower at 68.5 percent, below the 150 percent threshold for consideration of topping-up assistance defined under the enhanced HIPC Initiative (Table 2).16 However, given the risks to the outlook and weak institutional capacity, the staffs conclude that Afghanistan will remain at high risk of debt distress even after the full delivery of debt relief under the HIPC Initiative and MDRI (see Appendix II).

44. Substantially higher delivery of HIPC relief by bilateral creditors explains the lower than projected NPV of debt-to-exports ratio after HIPC assistance. Several factors would have contributed to an increase in the NPV of debt-to-exports ratio compared to the projections at decision point. Lower than expected exports led to a higher NPV of debt-to-exports ratio of 7.4 percentage points. Changes in the discount rates used to calculate the NPV of debt and lower than anticipated concessionality of new borrowing increased the NPV of debt-to-exports ratio at March 20, 2009 terms with respect to the decision point projection and the completion point estimate by 8.8 and 9.1 percentage points, respectively. However, substantially higher than expected delivery of HIPC relief, especially by bilateral creditors led to a 38.1 percentage point reduction of the NPV of debt-to-exports ratio compared to the assumptions at decision point, which more than compensated for the other factors and resulted in a net decrease of 11.4 percentage points in the NPV of debt-to-exports ratio compared to the projections at the decision point.

Table 2.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Breakdown of the Decrease of NPV of Debt-to-Export Ratio as of March 20, 2009 1/

article image
Sources: World Bank and IMF staff estimates and projections.

NPV of debt-to-export ratio after full delivery of enhanced HIPC assistance and bilateral debt relief beyond the HIPC Initiative.

D. Creditor Participation in the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

45. Upon reaching the completion point, Afghanistan will qualify for additional debt relief under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) from IDA. Afghanistan does not have MDRI-eligible debt outstanding to the IMF. Contingent upon agreement by the Boards of IDA and the IMF that the completion point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative has been reached, IDA will provide MDRI debt relief through a debt stock cancellation of debt disbursed before end-2003 and still outstanding on March 31, 2010.17 At the completion point, debt owed to IDA will be reduced by US$35.3 million due to MDRI relief (Table 12). MDRI debt cancellation from IDA would save Afghanistan average annual debt service payments (net of HIPC assistance) of US$1.1 million between 2010/11 and 2043/44. Total debt service savings from MDRI relief would amount to US$38.4 million (SDR 25.2 million).

E. Debt Sustainability Outlook for 2009-2029

46. The macroeconomic framework underlying the medium- to long-term debt sustainability analysis takes into account recent economic developments and progress in structural reforms. The projections are consistent with the medium-term macroeconomic framework under the PRGF arrangement. Box 2 summarizes the main macroeconomic assumptions for the full projection period 2009–29.

47. The macroeconomic framework assumes a gradual improvement in security and economic conditions, as well as additional reforms. Stabilization and strong policy reforms allow infrastructure and mining projects to proceed in the medium-term, leading to higher growth. Regional stability and a recovery of global growth allow for increasing trade flows over time. In addition, the baseline scenario assumes improvements in governance over the near term, important reforms in customs and tax administration, strict control of non-priority domestic expenditures, and that domestic revenues would rise. The scenario indicates that fiscal sustainability (defined as operating expenditures equaling domestic revenues) would be reached in 2023.

48. The HIPC DSA assumes a greater share of grants than the LIC DSA, although they are bound by the same underlying macroeconomic framework. Under the methodology of the LIC DSA, the macroeconomic framework assumes IDA financing in the form of loans beyond the grants currently committed. The finding of high risk of debt distress in the LIC DSA points towards the need for continued donor involvement over an extended time period. The assumption of grant financing in the HIPC DSA is consistent with the results of the LIC DSA (Appendix II).

49. The focus of fiscal policy is to maintain macroeconomic stability and move toward fiscal sustainability guided by the ANDS. For the near term, security spending will substantially increase. Much of the increase, however, will be financed by external grants, keeping debt accumulation under control. For the medium term, revenues are projected to increase from about 8 percent of GDP in 2009/10 to about 13 percent by 2029.

50. Growth is projected to rise gradually in the medium term. After a strong recovery in 2009/10, growth is projected to moderate to about 7 percent during 2010–15. During 2015–20, the baseline scenario assumes a gradual improvement in security, policy reforms to improve the business and investment climate, infrastructure upgrading, and improved service delivery by the government. Under this scenario, growth steadily increases, driven by the mining sector, industry, and commerce, and peaking at 8 percent by 2018.

51. At the completion point, after full delivery of HIPC debt relief, additional bilateral assistance beyond HIPC, and MDRI, Afghanistan’s external public debt would be considerably reduced, and external debt indicators would be expected to remain comfortably below the HIPC threshold over time. The NPV of debt-to-exports ratio would fall from 189.4 percent before the completion point in 2008/09 to 89.3 percent after full delivery of HIPC, beyond HIPC and MDRI assistance in 2009/10. Because of the high volume of new borrowing assumed in the outer years of the projection period, this ratio would decrease over time to 83.8 percent in 2016/17 and subsequently increase to 99.0 percent in 2028/29 (Table 9). The NPV of debt-to-revenue and NPV of debt-to-GDP ratios would also drop between 2008/09 to 2009/10, and start increasing again until reaching 59.4 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.

52. Afghanistan’s debt service ratios are projected to fall in the short term, but then to increase over the long term. After reaching the completion point, the debt service to exports ratio is projected to decline from 1.4 percent to 0.6 percent. Due to the start of the repayment period of existing debt to multilateral creditors and growing debt service on new disbursements, the ratio is projected to increase quickly and reach 3.8 percent by 2028/29. Even though debt service is projected to increase rapidly, debt service decreases considerably as a result of the full delivery of HIPC relief, and bilateral relief beyond HIPC and MDRI. Compared to the situation after traditional debt relief, average debt service-to-exports ratio would halve over the period 2008/09–2018/19 and would remain about one third lower over the period 2019/20–2028/29. The projection for the debt service-to-revenue ratio is also expected to increase steadily over time after an initial drop at the completion point.

F. Sensitivity Analysis

53. The macroeconomic outlook depends strongly on improved security and a consistent reform effort. Other important risks include weak policy implementation by the government, and volatility of aid inflows. Should security not improve markedly over the next few years, an opportunity to channel large donor inflows to needed investments will be lost. Improving revenues while keeping expenditures contained and appropriately targeted will also require political will. State-owned companies such as the electricity provider and the state airline could also lead to large contingent liabilities materializing and poor services if reforms are not undertaken to strengthen their management and operations. Governance reforms to fight corruption and to allow for effective state mechanisms will be crucial. Finally, external shocks such as another spike in food prices, or internal shocks such as another drought, could also delay progress.

54. This section tests the sensitivity of the macroeconomic outlook to various shocks. The section analyzes the impact on debt dynamics of three alternative scenarios (Table 10 and Figure 4). The scenarios analyze the consequences of key risks to Afghanistan, including lower economic growth, an export shock and a lower concessionality of new financing.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Baseline Macroeconomic Assumptions 2009-2029

For the short term, the baseline scenario assumes that real GDP will grow by about 15 percent in 2009/10, due to a faster-than-expected recovery of agricultural output and the impact of increased security spending. Headline inflation is projected to be about 6 percent (year-on-year) by March 2010 and to average -9 percent for the fiscal year. For the medium term, the baseline scenario assumes: (i) continuing macroeconomic stability and liberal policies toward international trade and foreign investment; (ii) completion of an ambitious restructuring and privatization program by 2012; (iii) stabilization of the security situation by about 2015; and (iv) further structural reforms to governance, the judiciary, and the business environment.

Real growth of non-opium GDP in the baseline scenario is projected to average 7 percent in 2010–2015 and to increase to 7.5 percent by 2020 as security and the business environment improve. The higher growth during this period would be driven by foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to mining and hydropower projects, earnings from minerals exports, a gradual conversion of opium-growing areas to legal crops, and increased industrial and service activity. By 2029, growth is projected to settle at about 4.5 percent, the same as in the HIPC Decision Point document.

Inflation, after jumping in 2008/09 and falling to about 6 percent by March 2010, is projected to settle to about 4 percent during 2012–2029. The baseline assumes a slight real appreciation of the Afghani over the long term, consistent with productivity growth.

External grants, channeled through and outside the budget, are expected to remain substantial in absolute amounts throughout the period, albeit declining as a percentage of GDP. They are projected to move from US$6.5 billion (50 percent of GDP) in 2009/10 to about US$3.7 billion (5 percent of GDP) by 2029. Operating expenditure grants are projected to be eventually phased out, while grants executed outside the budget are steadily redirected to budgetary development expenditures.

As external grants decrease, the role of external loans will grow. From about US$100 million in 2009/10, gross foreign borrowing is projected to increase to about US$1.4 billion by 2029 (2 percent of GDP). This borrowing will remain on concessional terms.

Investment is expected to be exceptionally high until about 2020. With the help of external financing for core development expenditures, public investment is projected to average 14 percent of GDP through 2020, and to settle at about 7 percent of GDP by 2029. Meanwhile, FDI inflows to the mining and hydropower sectors and, later, to domestic industries and services, are envisaged to push up private investment to a peak of 13.5 percent of GDP by 2023/24.

The external current account is projected to steadily improve. Excluding official transfers, the current account deficit is projected to fall from about 55 percent of GDP in 2009/10 to close to 10 percent by 2029. Although capital goods purchases related to investments in mining and hydropower will increase imports during the first half of the projection period, this effect will be more than offset by the decline in donor-driven imports and the increase in mineral exports.

Fiscal accounts: Relatively strong growth, combined with continued improvements in tax and customs administration would raise domestic revenues to about 13 percent of GDP by 2029. Operating expenditures are projected to increase to around 15 percent of GDP during 2009–2015 due to the security buildup, and to settle at about 11 percent of GDP through 2029. The scenario assumes marginal privatization proceeds and small domestic public borrowing, and that the real interest rate on domestic currency debt would be about 3 percent.

Alternative Scenario 1: Lower Growth

55. A lack of security could trap Afghanistan in a low growth-low investment equilibrium. This scenario assumes no security improvement over the medium term, preventing infrastructure investments and delaying large-scale projects such as the Aynak copper mine. At the same time, needed improvements in revenue administration, state-owned companies, and other structural reforms are delayed, while governance remains a problem. Real GDP growth averages only 3.7 percent over 2015–2029, two percentage points lower than in the baseline. Revenues as a percent of GDP rise to only 11 percent by 2029, two percentage points lower than in the baseline, with adverse consequences for fiscal sustainability, despite expenditures being adjusted to take into account lower revenues. Nominal GDP rises to only half the level of the baseline by 2029 leaving much of the population mired in poverty. Exports remain at around 7 percent of GDP, two percentage points lower than in the baseline scenario. Under this scenario, the NPV of debt-to-export ratio would increase substantially above the HIPC threshold, reaching levels that are more than double those under the baseline by 2028/29. The debt service-to-export ratio would increase to 17.2 percent by 2028/29, which is more than four times the ratio under the baseline scenario.

Scenario 2: Terms of Trade Shock

56. Debt ratios would also be affected by export shocks. This scenario assumes a permanent 15 percent drop in the value of exports which might occur if copper prices fall, the exchange rate were revalued, or because of a drop in the trade volume due to instability in trading partners such as Pakistan. Further deterioration in internal security in Afghanistan would also affect trade. This scenario has limited effects because it considers the isolated effect of lower exports, assuming that GDP growth and revenues are the same as in the baseline. As a result, only the NPV of debt-to-exports and the debt service-to-exports would be affected. Both ratios worsen compared to the baseline scenario, but the change would not be pronounced, as the shock is minor and is not assumed to affect other macro variables except GDP. The NPV of debt-to-exports ratio would reach 118.7 percent in 2028/29, which is still well below the HIPC threshold.

Scenario 3: Lower Grants

57. Even if the security situation improves and the favorable macroeconomic baseline materializes, Afghanistan’s debt sustainability outlook will depend strongly on the availability of grants. This scenario, which is a fully-fledged set of alternative macroeconomic projections, illustrates the need for continuing donor support through grants by assuming multilateral partners only offer loans on IDA terms instead of grants. Potential GDP growth rises as in the baseline due to investments and better security, but debt service costs rise. The replacement of grants through concessional loans leads to a serious deterioration of all debt ratios, especially for the second half of the projection period. The ratio of NPV of debt-to-exports is almost double the one in the baseline scenario in 2028/29. Similarly, compared to the baseline scenario, debt service indicators are in average around one sixth higher during 2008/09–2018/19 and almost double during 2019/20–2028/29.

58. These scenarios underscore the need for strong continued support by donors and the strong efforts by the authorities. Absent progress in security, continuing governance problems, or a lack of commitment to serious economic reforms could hamper growth and poverty reduction progress and would result in a substantial deterioration of debt indicators. The analysis also underscores the dependence of Afghanistan’s debt outlook on the availability of external finance at highly concessional terms and the need for improved debt management functions with the capacity to assess carefully the long-term effects of new borrowings. These results demonstrate that access to concessional financing and the goal of debt sustainability could become more difficult to achieve for Afghanistan if donors do not renew their long-term aid commitment or if there is less reform progress (including a protracted conflict situation) in the near future.

IV. Conclusions

59. In the opinion of the IMF and IDA staffs, Afghanistan has met the requirements established in July 2007 for reaching the completion point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative, subject to the provision of the waivers referred to in the following paragraph.

60. In the opinion of the IMF and IDA staffs, Afghanistan has made satisfactory progress in implementing the reforms specified for the completion point, but will require waivers for two remaining triggers. It has fully implemented nine out of the eleven triggers. Substantial progress was made in implementing the two other triggers on restructuring of key service delivery ministries and on civil service and military pensions. The government has indicated that they will be pursuing continuing reforms to complete these two triggers in the near future, and thus staffs support the waiver requests.

61. The stock of HIPC-eligible external debt in NPV terms at March 20, 2006 increased slightly following the debt reconciliation exercise. The staffs of IDA and the IMF, together with the Afghan authorities, reviewed the March 20, 2006 stock of debt data that was presented in the decision point document against recent creditor statements. As a result, the nominal stock of debt has been augmented by US$22.6 million to US$11,962.1 million and the NPV of debt after traditional debt relief has been revised upward by US$11.1 to US$1,131.1 million (Table 3). While multilateral creditor amounts remained the same, Paris Club debt was revised downward. This was offset by increased other bilateral and commercial debts.

62. Full delivery of HIPC debt relief, additional bilateral assistance beyond HIPC and MDRI would considerably reduce Afghanistan’s external public debt. However, given continued dependence on donor flows and the significant risks to the security and economic outlook, Afghanistan will remain highly vulnerable to shocks.

63. In light of the progress described above, staffs recommend that the Executive Directors determine that Afghanistan has reached the completion point under the enhanced HIPC initiative.

V. Issues for Discussion

64. Executive Directors may wish to consider the following questions.

  • Completion point: Do Directors agree that Afghanistan has reached the completion point under the enhanced HIPC initiative?

  • Amount of assistance: Do Directors agree that the amount of assistance by all creditors under the enhanced HIPC initiative should be US$582.4 million in NPV terms?

  • Topping-up: Do Directors agree that Afghanistan does not meet the requirements for exceptional topping-up at the completion point?

  • Creditor participation: Do Directors agree that Afghanistan’s creditors have given sufficient assurances to irrevocably commit enhanced HIPC initiative assistance to Afghanistan?

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Composition of Stock of External Debt as of March 20, 2006 by Creditor Group

(Nominal stock: $11.96 billion)

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2010, 040; 10.5089/9781451800456.002.A001

Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Potential Costs of the HIPC Initiative as of March 20, 2006 by Creditor Group

(Total Estimated HIPC Enhanced Assistance: $582.4 million, end-March 2006 NPV terms)

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2010, 040; 10.5089/9781451800456.002.A001

Sources: Afghan authorities; and IMF and World Bank staff estimates and projections.
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
Figure 3.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: External Debt Burden Indicators, 2008–29

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2010, 040; 10.5089/9781451800456.002.A001

Sources: Afghan authorities; and IMF and World Bank staff estimates and projections.
Figure 4.
Figure 4.
Figure 4.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Sensitivity Analysis, 2008–29

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2010, 040; 10.5089/9781451800456.002.A001

Sources: Afghan authorities; and IMF and World Bank staff estimates and projections.
Table 3.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Nominal Stock and Net Present Value of Debt asof March 20, 2006, by Creditor Groups

article image
Sources: Afghan authorities; and IMF and World Bank staff estimates.

Includes arrears.

Includes a hypothetical stock-of-debt operation on Naples terms at March 20, 2006 (fiscal year ends March 20) and at least comparable action by other official bilateral and commercial creditors on eligible debt (pre-cutoff and non-ODA).

Includes an up-front 80 percent discount on Russian debt disbursed before 1992.

Table 4.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: HIPC Initiative Assistance Under a Proportional Burden-Sharing Approach 1/2/

(In millions of U.S. dollars, unless otherwise indicated)

article image
Sources: C.A.R. authorities; and IMF and World Bank staff estimates and projections.

The proportional burden sharing approach is described in “HIPC Initiative--Estimated Costs and Burden Sharing Approaches” (EBS/97/127, 7/7/97 and IDA/SEC M 97-306, 7/7/97).

Includes a hypothetical stock-of-debt operation on Naples terms, March 20, 2006 (fiscal year ends March 20), and comparable treatment by other official bilateral creditors

Includes an up-front 80 percent discount on Russian debt disbursed before 1992.

Each creditor’s NPV reduction in percent of its exposure at the reference date, March 20 2006, calculated as (A-B)/A. The common reduction factor is applied to debt remaining after traditional mechanisms. For non-concessional bilateral or commercial debt this would imply a total reduction of 84 percent.

Based on the three-year backward-looking average (2003/04-2005/06).

Table 5.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Discount Rates and Exchange Rates

article image
Sources: OECD; and IMF, International Financial Statistics.

The discount rates used are the average commercial interest reference rates over the six-month period prior to the reference date, which is the end of the periodfor which actual debt and export data are available.

The exchange rates are expressed as currency per U.S. dollar at the end of the reference date.

Table 6.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Net Present Value of External Debt, 2008–29

(in millions of U.S.dollars, unless otherwiseindicated)

article image
article image
Sources: Afghan authorities; and IMF and World Bank staff estimates and projections.

The NPV of debt to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and BADEA includes the grant element of the arrears clearance operations as well as any payments made under these operations.

Shows the external debt situation after the full use of traditional debt-relief mechanisms, and assuming at least comparable treatment from official bilateral creditors.

Assumes the delivery of HIPC assistance at completion point (end-November 2009).

Assumes full delivery of estimated HIPC initiative debt relief as March 20, 2009.

Includes additional debt relief provided on a voluntary basis by the Paris Club and some commercial creditors beyond the requirements of the enhanced HIPC framework as specified on Table 15.

MDRI assistance applies to the World Bank and starts after the completion point (November 2009).

Table 7.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan:External Debt Service, 2009–29 1/

(in millions of U.S.dollars, unless otherwise indicated)

article image
article image
Sources: Afghan authorities; and IMF and World Bank staff estimates and projections.

All debt indicators refer to public and publicly guaranteed (PPG) debt and are defined after rescheduling, unless otherwise indicated. Fiscal year ends on March 20.

Includes only principal and interest due on debt outstanding as of the reference date (March 20, 2009) and does not include projected penalty interest on arrears.

Reflects debt service on the projected borrowing needed to close the current account gap.

Assumes a hypothetical stock of debt operation on Naples terms and comparable treatment from other bilateral creditors.

Bilateral and commercial creditors are assumed to provide a Cologne flow rescheduling on eligible debt during the interim period and a Cologne stock of debt operation at the completion point. Multilateral creditors are assumed to provide HIPC debt relief as of the decision point, except for IFAD, which is assumed to provide relief at the completion point.

The reduction is measured as the difference between the projected debt service after full use of traditional debt relief and debt service after the application of HIPC relief.

Includes additional debt relief provided on a voluntary basis by the Paris Club and some commercial creditors beyond the requirements of the enhanced HIPC framework as specified on Table 15.

MDRI assistance applies to the World Bank and starts the first quarter after the assumed completion point.

As defined in IMF, Balance of Payments Manual, 5th edition, 1993. Refers to current year exports.

Revenues are defined as central government revenues, excluding grants.