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Mr. Erwin H Tiongson, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Mr. Sanjeev Gupta
Global food aid is considered a critical consumption smoothing mechanism in many countries. However, its record of stabilizing consumption has been mixed. This paper examines the cyclical properties of food aid with respect to food availability in recipient countries, with a view to assessing its impact on consumption in some 150 developing countries and transition economies, covering 1970 to 2000. The results show that global food aid has been allocated to countries most in need. Food aid has also been countercyclical within countries with the greatest need. However, for most countries, food aid is not countercyclical. The amount of food aid provided is also insufficient to mitigate contemporaneous shortfalls in consumption. The results are robust to various specifications and filtering techniques and have important implications for macroeconomic and fiscal management.
Mr. Erwin H Tiongson, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Mr. Sanjeev Gupta

Results: Food Aid Flows Over Time 7. Tobit Regression Results: Fiscal Variables 8. Tobit Regression Results: Food Aid Sales and Fiscal Variables, 1987–2000 Appendix Table 9. Countries and Areas Included in the Sample

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta

cyclical component of domestic food availability are calculated contemporaneously, and with leads and lags up to two years. For comparison, we also calculate the correlations between food aid and the cyclical components of log per capita income as a measure of economic activity and a proxy for consumption shortfalls. Two-Step Estimation The empirical literature on food aid and consumption smoothing has examined how food aid flows respond to shortfalls in food availability by first measuring food availability in terms of deviations from a trend ( Mellor and Pandya

Mr. Erwin H Tiongson, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Mr. Sanjeev Gupta

( Clay and others (1996) , Barrett (2001) , Barrett and Heisey (2002) ), a single program perspective can be misleading when assessing a country’s food aid vis-à-vis country needs, as food aid is typically provided by a number of donors. Other studies, using broader measures of food aid, focus on selected regions. A more comprehensive evaluation would assess global food aid flows into all recipient countries. Aid inflows (including food aid) affect government revenues and economic activity. This is the case when aid flows through the budget and if part or all of

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

-border trade. International food aid flows and conflicts situations affect regional availability of food and trade flows. The creation of favoured trade areas such as ECO WAS and WAEMU supported also the development of regional trade, through the harmonization of tariffs and fiscal policies. 6. Other factors still hinder full development of regional trade flows . Complicated rules and regulations impede the movements of goods and services. While large traders are not sensitive to these practices, small traders’ activities seem to be obstructed by these rules. Also

Stéphane Pallage, Michel A. Robe, and Pattillo Catherine

such aid. In most countries that receive food aid, food aid flows are acyclical. 3 Several recent papers study how heterogeneous information sets or conflicts between parties can influence foreign aid contracts. Those papers' main focus is on the use of foreign aid to promote specific policies in the recipient country ( Murshed and Sen, 1995 ; Casella and Eichengreen, 1996 ; Lahiri and Raimondos-Møller, 1997a and 1997b ; Asiedu and Villamil, 2002 ; Azam and Laffont, 2003 ; and Svensson, 2003 ) or on the optimal allocation of a given amount of foreign aid

that food aid is countercyclical, but only in countries with the greatest need for such aid. In most countries that receive food aid, food aid flows are acyclical. ©International Monetary Fund. Not for Redistribution THE POTENTIAL OF FOREIGN AID AS INSURANCE 457 Table 1. Importance of Aid, 1975–2003 (In percent) Average Aid-to-GNI Ratio Benin 10.32 Botswana 5.94 Burkina Faso 13.25 Burundi 17.42 Cameroon 4.7 Cape Verde 26.94 Central African Republic 12.58 Chad 12.63 Congo, Democratic Republic of 8.15 Congo, Republic of 7.69 Côte d’Ivoire 4.86 Equatorial Guinea 22

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper presents an external stability assessment on Niger. Niger’s current account balance deteriorated in 2013, mostly on account of higher food and capital goods imports. The deficit is expected to widen further in 2014–15, mainly driven by large investment in the extractive industry and basic infrastructure. The current account is projected to gradually improve from 2016 as important projects in infrastructure will come to end, the oil and mining sectors come on stream and public and private savings increase. Although aid and foreign direct investments are the main sources of external financing, external borrowing–mainly on concessional terms–has increased significantly.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This is the final issue for 2006 (Volume 53), and contains another paper in the occasional Special Data Section that seeks to measure financial development in the Middle East and North Africa by utilizing a new database. The issue also contains a comment from Jacques J. Polak on parity reversion in real exchange rates.