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International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept.
On December 12, 2022, the IMF’s Executive Board reviewed the adequacy of the Fund’s precautionary balances. The review took place on the standard two-year cycle, after an interim review in December 2021. Precautionary balances comprise the Fund’s general and special reserves. They are a key element of the IMF’s multi-layered framework for managing financial risks. Precautionary balances provide a buffer to protect the Fund against potential losses, resulting from credit, income, and other financial risks. In conducting the review, the Executive Board applied the rules-based framework agreed in 2010. Precautionary balances have risen further since the 2021 interim review and coverage metrics have strengthened. At the same, credit and other financial risks have also increased. The pace of reserve accumulation is expected to remain adequate. Against this background, Executive Directors endorsed staff’s proposal to retain the current medium-term target of SDR 25 billion and the minimum floor of SDR 15 billion. The Board also discussed the role of surcharges, which are primarily a component of the Fund’s risk management framework but also contribute to reserves accumulation.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
The note updates and replaces the prior guidance on SMPs, provided in 2003, incorporating changes to the Fund’s lending strategy, and clarifies some operational issues to better guide staff on the use and design of SMPs, while safeguarding even-handed application. Noteworthy changes include clarity on the role of SMPs, specifying the start and end dates of SMPs, clarifying the expected length of SMPs and track record periods, and extensions of SMPs. While many policies are clarified, the principle of flexibility is maintained.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department

Executive Directors welcomed the opportunity to discuss staff s proposals (i) to create a new temporary window under the Fund’s emergency financing instruments to address the urgent balance of payments (BOP) needs related to food shock that was exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine, and (ii) to amend the policy on Staff Monitored Programs (SMP) to introduce an SMP with Board involvement (PMB) that will allow the Executive Board to opine under narrowly tailored circumstances on a member’s program approved by management. They broadly endorsed both proposals.

International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department

IMF POLICY PAPER

International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department

IMF POLICY PAPER

International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This paper proposes an amendment to the policy on Staff-Monitored Programs (SMPs) that would allow for limited Executive Board involvement in opining on the robustness of a member’s policies to meet their stated objectives under an SMP and monitoring its implementation. To differentiate from regular SMPs, such SMPs would be called “Program Monitoring with Board Involvement” or “PMBs”. Their use would be only available to those (requesting) members who, in addition to seeking to build or rebuild a track record for Upper Credit Tranche (UCT) Use of Fund Resources (UFR), would benefit from targeted Executive Board involvement because of either (i) an ongoing concerted international effort by creditors or donors to provide substantial new financing or debt relief to the member or (ii) significant outstanding Fund credit under emergency financing instruments at the time new emergency financing is received. Members meeting criterion (i) or (ii) above would be strongly encouraged to request such a PMB. The PMB would support members in designing, implementing, and monitoring policies under often complex circumstances.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Russia’s war in Ukraine has exacerbated global economic pressures, including through a food shock. The war and food-related spillovers—higher import prices for food and fertilizer and disruptions in supply lines for food importers, and a loss of revenue for some food exporters—add to urgent balance-of-payments (BOP) needs of many Fund members. They have also exacerbated acute food insecurity, now affecting 345 million people. While the best response to address BOP pressures would generally involve an Upper Credit Tranche-quality program, such a program may not be feasible in some cases or necessary in others. This paper proposes a time-bound food shock window under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) and the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to provide support to members in such situations. The new window would be temporary and provide low-access emergency financing that increases the amounts currently available under the RFI/RCF. Members would need to demonstrate urgent BOP needs and meet a set of qualification criteria related to the global food shock. The window would be available for 12 months from the date of Board approval of the window. Countries requesting financing under the window would also need to meet the standard qualification criteria under the RFI/RCF.