The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the fourth review of Bangladesh's economic performanceunderthePovertyReductionandGrowthFacility (PRGF) arrangement. The completion of this review makes available to Bangladesh a disbursement in an amount equivalent to SDR 67.28 million (about US$97.2 million), after which disbursements will total SDR 283.06 million (about US$409.1 million).
The Board also today reviewed Bangladesh's poverty reduction strategy paper, Unlocking the Potential—the National Strategy for
Although Malawi showed good economic performance under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility Arrangement, its poverty rate remained high. Executive Directors stressed the need to improve fiscal and monetary stances, and accelerate structural reforms. They appreciated the 10-point plan to improve budget management, and emphasized the need to sustain the soundness of the banking system. Directors agreed for further concessional assistance and urged the authorities to sustain efforts to improve data collection and dissemination, particularly in the area of fiscal statistics.
Following satisfactory economic and financial performance under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility-supported program, performance was mixed. Benin should pursue a prudent debt-management policy with the support of the newly created debt committee. Implementation of the structural reform agenda is of critical importance for achieving the objectives of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Strengthening of the financial sector and maintaining external debt on a sustainable path is needed in Benin. Risks to the medium-term program remain, but they are manageable.
Kenya showed poor implementation of policies and weak economic performance under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement. The government formulated a new Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (ERSWEC) aimed to address major macroeconomic vulnerabilities. Executive Directors emphasized the need for domestic debt reduction, the restructuring of spending, and a sustained implementation of the reform agenda. They suggested that bold reforms will be essential to encourage private investment and to mobilize adequate donor support for the reforms.
Despite the difficulties of Niger's circumstances, it showed satisfactory performance under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) Arrangement. However, a weakening in program implementation and a reassessment of priorities of the program led to slippages. Executive Directors advised the authorities to implement prudent policies in the revised program to avoid financial slippages. The authorities have shown a strong commitment in the preparation of the full Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Directors agreed that Niger has completed the first review under the PRGF Arrangement, and granted waivers.