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Mr. Itai Agur, Mr. Damien Capelle, Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, and Mr. Damiano Sandri

This paper reviews the theoretical arguments in favor and against MF and presents an empirical assessment of the risks that it may pose for inflation.

Rasmané Ouedraogo and Mr. David Stenzel
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have led to a rise in gender-based violence. In this paper, we explore the economic consequences of violence against women in sub-Saharan Africa using large demographic and health survey data collected pre-pandemic. Relying on a two-stage least square method to address endogeneity, we find that an increase in the share of women subject to violence by 1 percentage point can reduce economic activities (as proxied by nightlights) by up to 8 percent. This economic cost results from a significant drop in female employment. Our results also show that violence against women is more detrimental to economic development in countries without protective laws against domestic violence, in natural resource rich countries, in countries where women are deprived of decision-making power and during economic downturns. Beyond the moral imperative, the findings highlight the importance of combating violence against women from an economic standpoint, particularly by reinforcing laws against domestic violence and strengthening women’s decision-making power.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
As part of a five-year project of the Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative (EDDI) 2 Government Finance Statistics (GFS) Module on improving GFS and public-sector debt statistics in selected African countries, a mission was conducted in Harare, Zimbabwe during April 15–26, 2019. This mission was a follow up on a 2018 GFS technical assistance (TA) mission under the EDDI 2. The mission’s objective was to review progress made and assisting with outstanding statistical issues that are important for sound policymaking in Zimbabwe. Some of the key outstanding issues raised by the IMF African Department prior to the mission were, the classification of government subsidies to state owned enterprises (SOEs); the identification of extrabudgetary units (EBUs) and classification of their operations; and the correct classification of other government transactions in line with a Government Finance Statistics Manual (GFSM) 2014 framework.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

2017 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Zimbabwe

Anne Oeking and Mariusz A. Sumlinski
In this paper, we consider incidences of arrears to the IMF, focusing on protracted arrears cases and attempt to identify determinants of their occurrence. We use narrative and formal methods. In addition, we analyze determinants of the duration of arrears. We find that previous arrears, reserves coverage, and institutional quality are among the main determinants of arrears. In addition, we identify a role for political developments, including civil unrest, which make arrears more likely to arise and to last longer. We conclude that improved macroeconomic conditions and turnaround of political fortunes would help to clear the currently remaining protracted arrears cases.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Context. The authorities met all their commitments under the Staff-Monitored Program (SMP), despite economic and financial difficulties. Inadequate external inflows, lower commodity prices, the dollar appreciation, and the El-Niño-induced drought hurt economic activity. The authorities have started to rationalize civil service by exploiting opportunities for cost savings, amended the Public Financial Management and Procurement Acts for Parliament and Cabinet approval, respectively, and rid the financial sector of problem banks and reduced non-performing loans. They garnered broad support for their reengagement strategy from creditors and development partners, in particular their plans to clear arrears to the International Financial Institutions.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic rebound in Zimbabwe experienced since the end of hyperinflation in 2009 has now ended. After averaging 10 percent over 2009–2012, growth fell to an estimated 3.3 percent in 2013, reflecting tight liquidity conditions, election-year uncertainty, weak demand for key exports, competitiveness pressures, and the impact of adverse weather conditions. Inflation continued its downward trend from 2.9 percent (year over year) at end-2012 to ?0.3 percent in April 2014. The medium-term outlook, under the baseline scenario, is for growth to average some 4 percent, as large mining sector investments reach full capacity.