The paper proposes a doubling of access limits on concessional lending to ensure that the Fund can respond effectively to the needs of low-income countries (LICs) severely affected by the current world economic downturn. Pending adoption of broader reforms to the LIC facilities architecture, higher access limits under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and Exogenous Shocks Facility-High-Access Component (ESF-HAC) would give the Fund greater flexibility in assisting LICs, which have become more exposed to global volatility over time. A doubling of access limits would restore them to their 1998 levels in percent of GDP and would be consistent with the approach taken in determining new access limits for General Resources Account (GRA) resources. It would also be in line with the projected doubling of medium-term demand for concessional resources.
The momentum behind the cyclical global expansion remains strong. But escalating trade conflicts and financial market volatility highlight downside risks beyond the next several quarters. To sustain the upswing, policy makers need to enhance financial sector resilience, start rebuilding policy space, and implement structural reforms–including on corruption and governance. Countries should work to promote an open and rulesbasedmultilateral trade system that works for all, and to durably reduce excess global imbalances. A cooperative approach to regulation will reap the benefits of financial technology, while addressing risks to stability and integrity. The Fund is embarking on major policy reviews, including on surveillance, the Financial Sector Assessment Program, program conditionality, concessional lending tools, debt sustainability analysis, and capacity development. We have also launched a comprehensive work program on the opportunities and challenges from digitalization.