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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
In the attached letter, the Somali authorities request an extension of the date on which the arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) will automatically expire unless a review is completed to August 17, 2022. On March 25, 2020, the Executive Board approved Somalia’s HIPC Initiative Decision Point1 and a three-year arrangement under the ECF.2 The first review under the ECF arrangement was completed by the Executive Board on November 18, 2020.3 However, as no review has been completed since then, the ECF arrangement is set to automatically expire on May 17, 2022, in line with the rule on automatic expiration of ECF arrangements if no review has been completed for 18 months. Under Fund policy, the Board may decide to delay the automatic expiry of the arrangement by up to three months if staff and the authorities appear close to reaching understandings on targets and measures to put the ECF-supported program back on track.
Ms. Monique Newiak, Mr. Abdoul A Wane, and Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo

Abstract

Governance and corruption issues have taken the center stage in international discussions, especially after the adoption by the IMF in 2018 of a new framework for engagement on governance and corruption. Sound institutions that guarantee integrity in the management of public affairs are critical on the path toward higher and more inclusive growth. Corruption undermines the quality of institutions, weakens the effectiveness of government programs, and compromises social trust in government policies. Indeed, countries around the world that improved their governance systems are reaping a “governance dividend,” and governance-enhancing reformist countries in sub-Saharan Africa include Botswana, Rwanda, and Seychelles. In addition, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Angola demonstrate that important reforms are possible, including in fragile environments. The importance of good governance has acquired even more importance as countries try to introduce policies to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Special attention to governance in an emergency context, including situations associated with conflict, other health crises and natural disasters, is therefore essential. Innovation and new technologies are critical instruments that policymakers can use in their efforts to improve governance and transparency.

International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department and World Bank
This Guidance Note outlines good practices on information-sharing across key areas in which the Bank and the IMF interact. The note outlines general principles consistent with these frameworks and discusses how the staffs of the two institutions are expected to exchange information related to country operations, technical assistance, and policy work.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Somalia’s Second Review Under the Staff-Monitored Program and Request for Three-Year Arrangements Under the Extended Credit and the Extended Fund Facility. The three-year financing package will support the implementation of the authorities’ National Development Plan and anchor reforms between the heavily indebted poor countries Decision and Completion Points. Reforms will focus on a continued strengthening of public finances to meet Somalia’s development needs in a sustainable manner; a deepening of central bank capacity; improvement of the business environment and governance; and enhancing statistics. Risks to the program and outlook remain elevated, although there is also upside potential. The immediate political risks concern the upcoming elections, while frequent climate shocks continue to contribute to agricultural loss and human displacement. On the upside, greater-than-expected impact from reforms under the program and additional development financing, together with the development of new industries, could lead to higher and more inclusive growth than the baseline.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on policies to drive diversification for Qatar. Diversification is important for a large commodity exporter like Qatar: it helps manage temporary shocks and prepare for sweeping changes to the economic setting. Qatar’s large financial holdings can help diversify revenues. Both structural reforms to improve the business environment and sector-specific policies can support diversification of activity and exports. Sector-specific policies should build on existing economic strengths in areas with room for exports and innovation. Emphasis should be placed on developing expertise in specific clusters. Export markets and competition provide crucial mechanisms to ensure discipline. Further diversification is important to help Qatar manage temporary shocks and prepare for far-reaching shifts to the economic context. Well-targeted, structured, and sequenced policies to encourage specific sectors can also play a role in diversifying Qatar’s economy. Export markets and competition should be deliberately used to hold recipients of support accountable. Policies to encourage specific sectors have resulted in little more than inefficient import substitution in many countries. Avoiding this outcome requires discipline: support should be withdrawn in the absence of progress.
International Monetary Fund
Capacity development (CD) is one of the Fund’s three core activities and has grown in importance in recent years. It supports member countries’ efforts to build the institutions and capacity necessary to formulate and implement sound economic policies, thereby complementing the Fund’s surveillance and lending mandates. Member countries, partners, and external commentators give the Fund high marks for the quality of its CD. At the same time, efforts need to continue to strengthen Fund CD to serve members’ current and evolving needs. The 2018 CD Strategy Review examines progress under the Fund’s 2013 CD Strategy and proposes a CD strategy for the next five years. It notes substantial progress in addressing the 2013 recommendations, which included strengthening the CD governance structure, enhancing the prioritization processes, clarifying the funding model, strengthening monitoring and evaluation, promoting greater integration of TA and training, exploiting new technologies for delivery, and leveraging CD as outreach. However, background work for this review also pointed to the need to strengthen the CD framework further. The review builds upon the existing CD strategy, focusing on two mutually reinforcing objectives. First, the impact of Fund CD needs to be increased by further strengthening integration with the Fund’s policy advice and lending operations, while continuing to make progress in framing CD through comprehensive strategies tailored to each member’s needs, capacity, and conditions, focusing on implementation and outcomes. Stronger coordination between CD and the Fund’s other core functions will better connect CD with countries’ risks and vulnerabilities and ensure surveillance and lending integrate lessons from CD more effectively. Second, the efficiency of CD needs to be increased by improving CD processes and systems. This will enhance transparency and strengthen the basis for strategic decision making. Five specific areas of recommendations support the strategy. Likewise, they mitigate institutional risks stemming from the Fund’s CD activities. They include clearer roles and responsibilities for key internal and external stakeholders in the CD process; continued strengthening of prioritization and monitoring; better tailoring and modernization of CD delivery with a focus on implementation of TA recommendations; greater internal consultation and sharing of CD information; and further progress in external coordination, communication, and dissemination of information (Annex I).