International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Since 2018, Haiti has experienced a protracted political crisis, repeated country lock-downs and civil unrest, an earthquake, the assassination of its president and a deep recession. Policymakers face economic imbalances, a surge in gang violence, worsening poverty conditions, and dire social challenges aggravated by years of political instability.
This paper proposes a comprehensive Strategy to strengthen IMF support to FCS in accordance with the Fund’s mandate and comparative advantage. The Strategy is a response to the Board-endorsed recommendations of the 2018 Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) Report on The IMF and Fragile States. To achieve these goals, the Strategy will benefit from additional resources reflected in the FY23-25 Medium-Term Budget, as per the budget augmentation framework discussed by the Board in December 2021. The Strategy also provides measures to better support staff working on FCS. Given the inherent risks in FCS engagement, the Strategy will be phased in starting in FY22, with implementation gradually accelerating between FY23-FY25.
Sailendra Pattanayak, Racheeda Boukezia, Yasemin Hurcan, and Ramon Hurtado
Fiscal institutional capacity in most fragile states (FS) and several low-income developing countries (LIDCs) is much lower than in other countries. Governments in these countries face several cash management challenges because they often lack credible budgets, have smaller and less diversified revenue bases, have limited access to financial markets, and rely largely on donors to fund a large portion of their budgets. Available public funds in these countries often remain dispersed outside the control of the ministry of finance. In the absence of a good cash forecasting function, these countries typically resort to cash rationing to meet their priority spending needs, often in an ad hoc manner, which can adversely affect budget execution and achievement of fiscal policy targets. This note sets out the key objectives and building blocks of a cash management function in FS and LIDCs. It suggests several measures to progressively build cash management capacity in three interrelated areas: consolidating cash resources, forecasting cash flows, and managing cash balances with sound institutional setups.
Based on internal data, this paper finds that the capacity development program of the IMF’s Statistics Department has prioritized technical assistance and training to fragile and conflict-affected states. These interventions have yielded only slightly weaker results in fragile states than in other states. However, capacity development is constantly needed to make up for the dissipation of progress resulting from insufficient resources that fragile and conflict-affected states allocate to the statistical function, inadequate inter-agency coordination, and the pervasive impact of shocks exogenous to the statistical system. Greater coordination with other capacity development providers and within the IMF can help partially overcome low absorptive capacity in fragile states. Statistical capacity development is more effective when it is tailored to countries’ level of fragility.