Middle East and Central Asia > Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of

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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

A fragile recovery continues in the Middle East and Central Asia region. The region has made good progress since the beginning of the year, but new challenges have emerged. They include a pandemic wave in countries with weak vaccination progress and rising inflation, which has contributed to declining monetary policy space, adding to the difficulties posed by limited fiscal policy space. Additionally, divergent recoveries and concerns about economic scarring persist. Inequities are also on the rise, and countries will need to tackle the pandemic’s impact on debt, labor markets, and the corporate sector. Countries will face difficult tradeoffs amid this challenging environment as they continue to manage the current crisis. Ramping up vaccine acquisition and distribution remains the most urgent short-term priority. Additional support should be well targeted, and central banks may need to raise interest rates if inflation expectations start to increase. Improving policy frameworks will be important to reduce policy tradeoffs. Preparing for a new chapter by investing in a transformational recovery will be vital to the region’s future. Important priorities include reorienting the role of the state toward health, education, and social safety nets; leveraging global trends like digitalization; and investing in climate-resilient technology.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region and those in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with swift and stringent measures to mitigate its spread and impact but continue to face an uncertain and difficult environment. Oil exporters were particularly hard hit by a “double-whammy” of the economic impact of lockdowns and the resulting sharp decline in oil demand and prices. Containing the health crisis, cushioning income losses, and expanding social spending remain immediate priorities. However, governments must also begin to lay the groundwork for recovery and rebuilding stronger, including by addressing legacies from the crisis and strengthening inclusion.

Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa and Mr. Christoph Duenwald
Analysis of policies for managing public sector wage bills in the Middle East and Central Asia region. While some work has been done recently at the Fund on issues related to government employment and compensation, to our knowledge, this is the first study to systematically examine, with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia region, the recent trends and drivers of public wage bills in the region and to identify key policy implications.
Ruchir Agarwal and Julian Kolev
Firms in the S&P 500 often announce layoffs within days of one another, despite the fact that the average S&P 500 constituent announces layoffs once every 5 years. By contrast, similarsized privately-held firms do not behave in this way. This paper provides empirical evidence that such clustering behavior is largely due to CEOs managing their reputation in financial markets. To interpret these results we develop a theoretical framework in which managers delay layoffs during good economic states to avoid damaging the markets perception of their ability. The model predicts clustering in the timing of layoff announcements, and illustrates a mechanism through which the cyclicality of firms layoff policies is amplified. Our findings suggest that reputation management is an important driver of layoff policies both at daily frequencies and over the business cycle, and can have significant macroeconomic consequences.
Ms. Lisa L Kolovich and Sakina Shibuya
Gender budgeting uses fiscal policies to promote gender equality and women’s advancement, but is struggling to take hold in the Middle East and Central Asia. We provide an overview of two gender budgeting efforts in the region—Morocco and Afghanistan. Achievements in these two countries include increasing female primary and secondary education enrollment rates and reducing maternal mortality. But the region not only needs to use fiscal policies for women’s advancement, but also reform tax and financial laws, enforce laws that assure women’s safety in public, and change laws that prevent women from taking advantage of employment opportunities.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde delivered this speech at the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington, D.C., on October 10, 2014.

Aqib Aslam, Mr. Enrico G Berkes, Mr. Martin Fukac, Jeta Menkulasi, and Mr. Axel Schimmelpfennig
For Afghanistan, the dual prospect of declining donor support and high ongoing security spending over the medium term keeps the government budget tight. This paper uses a general equilibrium model to capture the security-development tradeoff facing the government in its effort to rehabilitate macroeconomic stability and welfare. In particular, it considers strategic policy options for counteracting and minimizing the negative macroeconomic impact of possible aid and revenue shortfalls. We find that the mobilization of domestic revenues through changes in tax policy is the preferred policy response for Afghan central government. Such a response helps to place its finances on a sustainable path and preserve most of the growth potential. Cutting expenditures balances public finances, but causes the economy to permanently shrink. Debt financing helps to preserve much of the economy size but can jeopardize the sustainability of public finances.
International Monetary Fund
The National Development Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan mainly complements future renewals and ensures implementation of the development process of the country. The fields of activity of the world community outlined in the Millennium Declaration comply with the national goals and priorities of Tajikistan. In accordance with the National Development Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan and Poverty Reduction Strategy for the period of 2010–12, priority areas for further development of complex spheres in separate sectors are unified, which basically covers public administration reform and private sector development.