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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Gambia is consolidating its democratic change by successfully organizing peaceful and transparent elections. President Barrow was reelected for a second five-year term in December 2021; his party and its alliance hold half of the parliamentary seats following an election in April 2022. A fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in late 2021-early 2022. New infection cases have dropped to almost nil recently. The vaccination rate currently stands at about 20 percent of the adult population. The Gambia is already facing significant repercussions of the war in Ukraine.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
After two years of protracted political turmoil and delays in reforms, the authorities put in place in 2021 an ambitious fiscal consolidation program to ensure debt sustainability while creating fiscal space to address vast developmental needs. In late July, Fund Management approved a 9-month Staff Monitored Program (SMP) to support the government’s reform program aimed at stabilizing the economy, strengthening governance, and building a soundtrack-record of policy implementation towards an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. The first review was concluded satisfactorily in October. A Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) disbursement of SDR 14.2 million (50 percent of quota) was approved in January to provide urgent financing to support critical spending in health and catalyze additional donor resources. The RCF disbursement, the SDR 27.2 million allocation (96 percent of quota) and reforms underpinned by the SMP are contributing to address fragility including the adverse impact of the pandemic, improve government spending transparency and mitigate debt vulnerabilities, and create conditions that would help restore donor confidence and catalyze much-needed concessional financing.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Cyprus is highly exposed to the fallout from the war in Ukraine through trade with Russia. This new challenge comes against the background of the lingering effects of the pandemic and financial vulnerabilities dating from the 2012–13 crisis. Growth is projected to slow from 5½ percent in 2021 to around 2 percent this year. Recovery will regain momentum in 2023, and is projected to continue in the medium term, supported by investments and structural reforms in the Recovery and Resilience Plan.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This IMF report to the AHLC is the first since September 2018. Following limited engagement over the past three years, policy discussions have intensified in recent months. These discussions have focused mainly on establishing a medium term macro-fiscal framework, including the broad outlines of a reform scenario.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Niger’s new government developed an ambitious reform agenda in the face of daunting challenges. The previous ECF-supported program was able to preserve macroeconomic stability and implement some key PFM reforms, notwithstanding the pandemic. However, progress on revenue mobilization was more limited, reflecting capacity constraints and a challenging environment. For the new government to achieve its development goals, it will have to overcome deep-seated social and political divisions and a deteriorating regional security situation. Enhanced reforms and the advent of oil exports over the medium-term offer hope that greater domestic resources can be marshalled to accelerate growth and poverty reduction.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
COVID-19 severely hit the economy, causing a loss of tourism receipts and necessitating several strict lockdowns. Pre-pandemic tax cuts and the impact of COVID-19 led to fiscal deficits larger than 10 percent of GDP in 2020 and 2021 and a rapid increase in public debt to 119 percent of GDP in 2021. Sri Lanka’s access to international capital markets was lost in 2020, prompting a decline of international reserves to critically low levels and large-scale direct lending to the government by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). External debt repayments and a widening current account deficit have led to foreign exchange (FX) shortages, while the official exchange rate has been de facto fixed since April 2021. Inflation is on the rise, reaching double digits in December 2021, reflecting imported inflation, supply shocks, and a pickup in domestic demand amid loose monetary policy.