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International Monetary Fund
Based on the Executive Board’s guidance during the first stage of the Review of Low Income Countries (LIC) Facilities, this paper suggests a number of refinements to the facilities and instruments that are consistent with the self-sustainability of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT). The proposals seek to improve the tailoring and flexibility of Fund support. Taken together with those advanced in the parallel paper on PRGT eligibility, they are projected to keep the average annual demand for PRGT resources within a range consistent with the Board’s approved strategy to make the PRGT self-sustaining over the period 2013–35. The proposals are as follows.
International Monetary Fund
Better targeted support to LICs. In July 2015, the Executive Board approved measures to strengthen the financial safety net for low-income countries. Specifically, access norms and limits to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) resources were increased by 50 percent and the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) interest rate was set permanently at zero. In addition, four countries graduated from PRGT eligibility. Together with a rebalancing of the mix of blended financing towards more use of general Fund resources for better-off PRGT-eligible countries, these reforms were broadly resource neutral and left the PRGT self-sustaining framework intact. Demand for PRGT resources up strongly. In 2015, demand reached SDR 1.5 billion, largely in response to shocks to commodity prices and adverse global financial market conditions. Demand is expected to remain elevated in 2016, as the global environment continues to be challenging.
International Monetary Fund

neutral and left the PRGT self-sustaining framework intact . Four members graduated from PRGT eligibility in 2015 . 2. The framework for Fund concessional financing of LICs has been reviewed regularly to take account of changing needs . In July 2009, the IMF’s Executive Board approved a comprehensive reform of the IMF’s concessional facilities. Since then, PRGT lending has been executed under three facilities: the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), the Standby Credit Facility (SCF), and the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). The 2009 reform also provided for the

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

second stage of the review, which would provide additional analysis and further flesh out changes to the LIC facilities, including options for a reform package, based on a deep and careful analysis of PRGT self-sustainability. A few Directors called for a review of the three-pillar strategy for maintaining a self-sustaining PRGT, while most Directors opposed such a move at this juncture. Directors also looked forward to the Review of Conditionality and Design of Fund-Supported Programs and welcomed that this review is being discussed in parallel to improve the design

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

-February 2019 ( Table 2 ) . This is broadly unchanged from the previous year’s level. In addition to IMF resources and bilateral contributions from members in the subsidy accounts, SDR 245 million is presumed to be available from the PRG-HIPC Trust. 16 Overall, these resources are sufficient to subsidize PRGT lending over the medium to longer term, although a more in-depth analysis is required to assess PRGT self-sustainability (see below). Table 2. Balances of PRGT Accounts (in billions of SDRs; as of end-February 2019) Account Amount

International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
2018-19 Review of Facilities for Low-Income Countries---Reform Proposals: Review Of The Financing Of The Fund’s Concessional Assistance And Debt Relief To Low-Income Member Countries
International Monetary Fund
The Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) are valuable components of the disaster risk financing tool kit for Fund members, especially developing countries. They help to meet urgent balance of payments needs, and are designed to play a catalytic role in mobilizing other external financing. This paper develops proposals for a higher annual access limit under the RCF and RFI, building on a November 2016 staff paper on small states’ resilience to natural disasters and climate change (IMF, 2016c). Directors generally supported the proposal in that paper to establish higher annual access limits of 60 percent of quota under the RCF and RFI for countries experiencing severe natural disaster-related damages. The focus of this paper is to specify the threshold of damage from a natural disaster that would allow members experiencing urgent balance of payments needs arising from such disasters to access emergency financing at the higher annual limit. In the November 2016 paper, staff proposed, among other things, the possibility of establishing a higher access limit under the RCF and RFI where the amount of damage reached the threshold of 30 percent of GDP. Most Directors regarded the proposed threshold of disaster damage as overly restrictive, and suggested lowering the threshold to 20 percent of GDP or lower, provided that this did not jeopardize the self-sustainability of the PRGT. For a range of future disaster outcomes, a damage threshold of 20 percent of GDP could increase projected annual average PRGT loan demand in the 1-5 percent range over the next decade, which should not pose significant risks to the robustness of PRGT self-sustainability. Cautious stewardship of PRGT resources argues against a lower disaster damage threshold, pending further experience with disaster trends and associated PRGT loan demand. This paper does not propose changes to the current cumulative access limits for the RCF and RFI. The cumulative access limits play an important role in the Fund’s financing architecture, constraining the extent to which countries can access Fund resources without implementing a Fund-supported program with upper credit tranche (UCT) conditionality and associated policies in circumstances where such a program would be more appropriate. The Board will have the opportunity to review the cumulative access limits in the context
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept.
The Fund is adapting its framework for providing support to low-income countries (LICs) amid rising vulnerabilities. Despite a global economic upswing, many LICs continue to face difficult fiscal and external positions, aggravated by increasing debt levels and natural disasters in many countries. In this context, the Executive Board approved in May 2017 higher annual access limits under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) for balance of payment needs arising from large natural disasters and in May 2017 decided to keep the list of Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT)-eligible countries unchanged notwithstanding rising per capita income levels. A comprehensive review of PRGT facilities is underway to consider potential adaptations of program modalities and access policies. PRGT demand in 2017 was above the historical average for the third year in a row. New commitments totaled SDR 1.7 billion, the highest level since the global financial crisis. Demand is expected to moderate somewhat in 2018. Longer-term demand estimates are broadly unchanged from last year’s update, and remain generally consistent with the self-sustaining PRGT financing framework adopted in 2012. Loan resources have been successfully replenished, while subsidy contributions remain somewhat below pledged amounts. The 2015 fundraising round mobilized slightly more than the initial target of SDR 11 billion in new loan resources from 15 PRGT lenders, which should provide adequate loan resources into the next decade. By contrast, progress has been limited in collecting the remaining pledged resources for subsidizing the interest on PRGT credit. The PRGT self-sustained capacity remains intact. The PRGT’s self-sustained long term average annual lending capacity is estimated at SDR 1.31 billion, broadly unchanged from last year’ estimate. While capacity estimates are sensitive to a variety of factors, they remain relatively close to the target of SDR 1¼ billion under a number of shocks. The Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCR Trust) remains underfunded. Funding is below the original targeted amount of new bilateral contributions totaling US$150 million, and the gap is more sizeable when considering the increase of members’ quotas under the 14th General Review of Quotas. To meet funding needs for future qualifying catastrophe relief, it is important that countries with outstanding pledges fulfill their commitments and for additional countries to come forward. Additional financing would be required to provide debt relief to members with protracted arrears. Debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Counties (HIPC) Initiative is winding up, with only two potentially eligible countries left with outstanding Fund credit. These are the protracted arrears cases of Somalia and Sudan. Additional resources would be required to finance the Fund’s participation in debt relief when these countries are ready to undertake the HIPC Initiative process
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept.

Relief Initiative (MDRI), and, absent large shocks to PRGT demand or credit portfolio (see below), is expected to gradually increase over the medium to long term. 21 Figure 5. PRGT Reserve Coverage (In SDR millions; as of end-December 2017) PRGT Capacity: Assessing Adequacy and Self-Sustainability Key messages : The PRGT self-sustained capacity remains intact, at an estimated SDR 1.31 billion in annual lending capacity . The PRGT’s lending capacity is generally robust to short-term demand shocks, but can be more sensitive to factors