Health and Fitness

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Iulia Ruxandra Teodoru and Klakow Akepanidtaworn
The COVID-19 crisis raises the risk of renewed financial sector pressures in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region in the period ahead. Bank distress and its economic and fiscal fallout have been recurring features of many CCA countries, as seen after the global financial crisis and the 2014–15 oil price shock. Strong policy responses have delayed the full impact of the COVID crisis so far, but financial sector risks will increase once public support is phased out. If these risks are not preemptively addressed, banks’ ability to lend during the recovery phase could be impaired and there may be a need for costly public interventions, as in the past.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
The Executive Board approved a two-step approach consisting of (i) an immediate approval of the disbursement of a fourth tranche of debt service relief to all qualified beneficiary countries covering the period from October 16, 2021 through January 10, 2022, and (ii) consideration by January 2022 of a final tranche of CCRT debt service relief through April 13, 2022 based on a brief Board paper with an assessment of resources at that time. In accordance with the two-step approach, this paper provides a brief overview on recent developments in CCRT-eligible countries followed by an update on the CCRT’s funding status and resources assessment.
International Monetary Fund
The paper provides brief updates for each CCRT-eligible country on its policy responses to the pandemic and on staff’s assessments of these policies, the use of resources freed up by debt service relief, and the implementation of governance safeguards commitments. The paper also provides an update on the financial situation of the CCRT. The generous support from 17 donor countries and the EU has mobilized SDR 609 million in new pledges since the onset of the pandemic.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Countries of the Middle East and Central Asia region have been hit by two large and reinforcing shocks, resulting in significantly weaker growth projections in 2020. In addition to the devastating toll on human health, the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in oil prices are causing economic turmoil in the region, with fragile and conflict affected states particularlyhard-hit given already large humanitarian and refugee challenges and weak health infrastructures. The immediate priority for policies is to save lives with needed health spending, regardless of fiscal space, while preserving engines of growth with targeted support to households and hard-hit sectors. In this context, the IMF has been providing emergency assistance to help countries in the region during these challenging times. Further ahead, economic recoveries should be supported with broad fiscal and monetary measures where policy space is available, and by seeking external assistance where space is limited.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Countries of the Middle East and Central Asia region have been hit by two large and reinforcing shocks, resulting in significantly weaker growth projections in 2020. In addition to the devastating toll on human health, the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in oil prices are causing economic turmoil in the region, with fragile and conflict affected states particularlyhard-hit given already large humanitarian and refugee challenges and weak health infrastructures. The immediate priority for policies is to save lives with needed health spending, regardless of fiscal space, while preserving engines of growth with targeted support to households and hard-hit sectors. In this context, the IMF has been providing emergency assistance to help countries in the region during these challenging times. Further ahead, economic recoveries should be supported with broad fiscal and monetary measures where policy space is available, and by seeking external assistance where space is limited.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper focuses on the Kyrgyz Republic’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument and Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has hit the Kyrgyz economy very hard and increased an already urgent balance of payments need. All sectors are being severely affected while measures are being taken to stop the spread of the virus. The IMF emergency support addresses the urgent balance of payments need, shores up confidence, and catalyzes donor support. In order to ensure that the financing provided is efficiently spent on addressing the crisis, the authorities have committed to strengthen procurement rules. The health care contingency plan and the initial package of economic measures already adopted by the authorities to provide health and economic relief are welcome, as is the second, larger, package of measures under preparation. In their attached letter of intent, the authorities remain committed to temporarily loosening macroeconomic and financial policies to finance health and economic relief and support a recovery. They have also made additional commitments to strengthen procurement rules, including steps to enhance transparency, to help ensure that financing received is efficiently spent on addressing the crisis.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has weakened the macroeconomic outlook. The authorities have launched a health care contingency plan and an initial package of economic measures, together totaling $31 million (0.4 percent of GDP), and are preparing a second, larger package of economic measures of about $400 million (5.2 percent of GDP). To help address an urgent balance of payments need arising from the pandemic, estimated at about $500 million, the authorities request an additional purchase under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) of 33.3 percent of quota (SDR 59.2 million) and a disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) of 16.7 percent of quota (SDR 29.6 million) under the “exogenous shock” window of the RCF. This follows Board approval on March 26, 2020 of the authorities’ earlier request for the same amounts, before the doubling of the annual access on emergency financing under the “exogenous shock” window of the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to 100 percent of quota was approved on April 6, 2020. This additional request will bring the total purchases under the RFI and the disbursements under the RCF to 100 percent of quota in 2020.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Countries of the Middle East and Central Asia region have been hit by two large and reinforcing shocks, resulting in significantly weaker growth projections in 2020. In addition to the devastating toll on human health, the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in oil prices are causing economic turmoil in the region, with fragile and conflict affected states particularlyhard-hit given already large humanitarian and refugee challenges and weak health infrastructures. The immediate priority for policies is to save lives with needed health spending, regardless of fiscal space, while preserving engines of growth with targeted support to households and hard-hit sectors. In this context, the IMF has been providing emergency assistance to help countries in the region during these challenging times. Further ahead, economic recoveries should be supported with broad fiscal and monetary measures where policy space is available, and by seeking external assistance where space is limited.