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International Monetary Fund
In direct response to the COVID-19 crisis the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board has adopted some immediate enhancements to its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to enable the Fund to provide debt service relief for its poorest and most vulnerable members. The CCRT enables the IMF to deliver grants for debt relief benefiting eligible low-income countries in the wake of catastrophic natural disasters and major, fast-spreading public health emergencies.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept.
The Fund is facing strong demand for financing from low-income countries (LICs). Commodity price shocks and loose fiscal policies have contributed to rising debt levels and financing needs in many countries. Several developing states, especially smaller ones, are also increasingly vulnerable to large natural disasters. At the same time, many LICs less dependent on commodity exports have enjoyed robust growth in recent years, with more contained vulnerabilities.
International Monetary Fund
In line with a framework introduced in 2012 for addressing excessive delays in the completion of Article IV consultations, the following table lists the IMF members for which the Article IV consultation has been delayed by more than 18 months at March 15, 2016. The delay is counted past the stipulated date for the consultation plus any applicable grace period. There are no countries for which the mandatory financial stability assessments are delayed by more than 18 months at March 15, 2016.
International Monetary Fund
The Fund’s existing facilities for low-income countries (LICs) provide a vehicle for the speedy provision of financial assistance to member countries hit by natural disasters, either through the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) or through augmentation of the funding already being provided through other facilities such as the Standby or Extended Credit Facilities. The quick disbursement of funds strengthens national financial capacity, including external payments capacity, to tackle relief and recovery challenges. To address catastrophic disasters, the Fund created a mechanism in 2010 to provide additional relief to its poorest and most vulnerable member countries to help meet their exceptional balance of payments needs. Under this mechanism, the Fund can provide grants from a trust fund—the Post Catastrophe Debt Relief (PCDR) trust—that are used to pay off debt service falling due to the Fund. These grants ease pressures on the member’s balance of payments and create financial space by reducing its debt service burden. This paper proposes reforms to this mechanism to cover situations where the member is experiencing an epidemic of an infectious disease that constitutes a significant threat to lives, economic activity, and international commerce across countries.
International Monetary Fund
The reform of the Fund’s policy on the use of conditionality on public external debt in Fund-supported programs (the “debt limits policy”) has been under discussion since March 2013. The discussion has taken place against a backdrop where lower income countries are seeking to boost growth through higher public investment levels, targeted in particular at large infrastructure gaps, while facing both a wider range of external financing opportunities and limits on the supply of traditional concessional financing. The reform of the Fund’s policy on debt conditionality in 2009 was a first step to accommodate these new realities: experience with the 2009 reforms has pointed to the need for more fundamental reforms to provide countries with greater flexibility to finance productive investments while containing risks to medium-term debt sustainability. The reforms proposed here build on the Board review of the debt limits policy in March 2013, ensuing informal Board discussions in January and May 2014, discussions at an informal seminar in September 2014, and various stakeholder consultations. In developing this reform proposal, staff has sought to first specify a robust set of principles to guide the use of public debt conditionality in all Fund arrangements and then examine how these principles should apply in the specific circumstances of countries that normally rely on official external concessional financing.
International Monetary Fund
This report provides an update, based on objective indicators, of the application of structural conditionality in Fund-supported programs. Such annual reports on structural conditionality are one element of the management implementation plan (MIP) prepared in response to the Board-endorsed recommendations made in the IEO evaluation of Structural Conditionality in IMF-Supported Programs. This annual report covers Fund arrangements approved during the period 1995–2007 (and their reviews through April 30, 2008), extending therefore the dataset contained in the recent IEO report by about three years (from 2005 to 2007). In addition, this report examines experience with Policy Support Instruments (PSIs), which were introduced in October 2005, and thus not covered in the IEO evaluation.
International Monetary Fund
This document updates the information provided in the September 2005 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative – Status of Implementation report. It deals exclusively with the enhanced HIPC Initiative, and does not consider the implications of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).