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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The WAEMU has, so far, demonstrated strong resilience to the Covid crisis. The economic rebound that started in the second half of 2020 firmed up in 2021, while fiscal and monetary policies remained supportive. External reserves have risen to comfortable levels and the financial system appears to be broadly sound. However, the region faces significant challenges to ensure the sustainability of macroeconomic policies, while supporting the economic recovery and navigating the uncertain outlook.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This report provides an evaluation of fiscal transparency practices (FTE) in Benin according to the standards defined by the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code. The evaluation focuses on 36 principles covering three pillars of the Code: (I) fiscal reporting; (II) fiscal forecasting and budgeting; and (III) fiscal risk analysis and management. To take account of different levels of institutional capacity in each country, the Code distinguishes three levels of practices for each principle: basic, good, and advanced. A practice is considered “not met” if it has not met the Code’s requirements for basic level.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The WAEMU has, so far, demonstrated strong resilience to the Covid crisis. The economic rebound that started in the second half of 2020 firmed up in 2021, while fiscal and monetary policies remained supportive. External reserves have risen to comfortable levels and the financial system appears to be broadly sound. However, the region faces significant challenges to ensure the sustainability of macroeconomic policies, while supporting the economic recovery and navigating the uncertain outlook.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation assesses how well IMF-supported programs helped to sustain economic growth while delivering adjustment needed for external viability over the period 2008–19. The evaluation finds that the Fund’s increasing attention to growth in the programs has delivered some positive results. Specifically, it does not find evidence of a consistent bias towards excessive austerity in IMF-supported programs. Indeed, programs have yielded growth benefits relative to a counterfactual of no Fund engagement and boosted post-program growth performance. Notwithstanding these positive findings, program growth outcomes consistently fell short of program projections. Such shortfalls imply less protection of incomes than intended, fuel adjustment fatigue and public opposition to reforms, and jeopardize progress towards external viability. The evaluation examines how different policy instruments were applied to support better growth outcomes while achieving needed adjustment. Fiscal policies typically incorporated growth-friendly measures but with mixed success. Despite some success in promoting reforms and growth, structural conditionalities were of relatively low depth and their potential growth benefits were not fully realized. Use of the exchange rate as a policy tool to support growth and external adjustment during programs was quite limited. Lastly, market debt operations were useful in some cases to restore debt sustainability and renew market access, yet sometimes were too little and too late to deliver the intended benefits. The evaluation concludes that the IMF should seek to further enhance program countries’ capacity to sustain activity while undertaking needed adjustment during the program and to enhance growth prospects beyond the program. Following this conclusion, the report sets out three recommendations aimed at strengthening attention to growth implications of IMF-supported programs, including the social and distributional consequences.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected Benin. The authorities’ early and decisive action has helped stave off the spread of the virus, and a sizeable fiscal response has kept a recession at bay. Nevertheless, the economy has suffered a substantial downgrade in its economic outlook, with growth slowing down from 6.9 percent in 2019 to 2 percent in 2020, against an initial projection of 7 percent before the pandemic. Large financing needs, opened by the authorities’ fiscal response to the crisis, have given rise to an urgent balance of payments need.
Irene Yackovlev, Ms. Zuzana Murgasova, Fei Liu, Gohar Minasyan, and Ke Wang
How to Operationalize IMF Engagement on Social Spending during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 Crisis