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Mr. Christian H. Beddies, Ms. Marie-Helene Le Manchec, and Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu

Abstract

Borrowing can help achieve economic and social objectives, and debt is its consequence. Many low-income countries (LICs) require substantial external financing to reach their development objectives, and stepped-up investment in infrastructure is critical to achieve sustained growth and development. External debt financing can help in this regard by channeling resources to projects where the rate of return of the debt-financed investment is at least sufficient to service the debt incurred.

Mr. Christian H. Beddies, Ms. Marie-Helene Le Manchec, and Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu

Abstract

When governments face resource constraints, they often resort to borrowing to finance their expenditure plans. When outlays exceed revenues, a government has two basic options: eliminate the deficit by cutting expenditures or raising more revenues, or finance it through new (net) borrowing, which increases the stock of public debt. Governments may borrow by issuing securities, such as government bonds and bills, or through loans from domestic or foreign institutions (Box 2.1).

Mr. Christian H. Beddies, Ms. Marie-Helene Le Manchec, and Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu

Abstract

Assessments of external and fiscal sustainability are key elements of the IMF's work. The IMF's advice on macroeconomic policies, in the context of both IMF-supported programs and surveillance, is anchored in an analysis of a country's capacity to finance its policy objectives and service the ensuing debt without unduly large adjustments that may compromise its stability and that of its economic partners.

Mr. Christian H. Beddies, Ms. Marie-Helene Le Manchec, and Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu

Abstract

To make it a fully effective tool, borrowers, donors, and lenders must act in broad harmony with the DSF. The DSF helps inform borrowers about the amount and types of financing that are consistent with long-term debt sustainability and progress toward achieving their development objectives. It also provides guidance to donors and lenders on lending and grant-allocation decisions that are consistent with these goals. The DSF can thus help minimize the risk of debt crises and promote the use of scarce concessional resources by the countries that need them most. Its effectiveness in achieving these objectives increases with the number of borrowers, donors, and lenders using it.

Mr. Christian H. Beddies, Ms. Marie-Helene Le Manchec, and Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu

Abstract

History has shown that debt sustainability matters for sustained development. LICs have struggled with large external debts and destabilizing macro-economic outcomes, and ultimately development has been constrained. Now many LICs' debt burdens have been reduced as a result of debt relief, raising new challenges. As described above, the DSF has been designed to help guide countries and donors in mobilizing resources to finance LICs' development needs while reducing the chances of an excessive buildup of debt.

Mr. Christian H. Beddies, Ms. Marie-Helene Le Manchec, and Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu

Abstract

Low-income countries continue to face significant challenges in meeting their vast development needs while maintaining a sustainable debt position, even after many of these countries have benefited from substantial debt relief. These challenges are further exacerbated by changes in the financial landscape, including the emergence of new creditors and investors, the use of more complex financing vehicles, and the development of domestic markets. The joint World Bank/IMF debt sustainability framework is well placed to help address these challenges and reduce the risks of renewed episodes of debt distress. This paper explains the analytical underpinnings of the framework and the means to ensure its full effectiveness.

Mr. Christian H. Beddies, Ms. Marie-Helene Le Manchec, and Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu

Abstract

Les pays à faible revenu continuent d'éprouver des difficultés considérables à satisfaire leurs importants besoins en développement tout en préservant la viabilité de leur dette, même après avoir bénéficié d'un important allégement de la dette pour nombre d'entre eux. Ces difficultés sont encore exacerbées par l'évolution du paysage financier, dont l'émergence de nouveaux créanciers et investisseurs, le recours à des instruments de financement complexes, et le développement des marchés intérieurs. Le cadre de viabilité de la dette, élaboré conjointement par la Banque mondiale et le FMI, est très utile pour aider à résoudre ces difficultés ainsi qu'à réduire les risques de réapparition d'épisodes de surendettement. Ce document présente les fondements théoriques du cadre et explique comment en tirer tout le parti.