Middle East and Central Asia > Iraq

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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Jordan’s Second Review under the Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility, Requests for a Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criterion, an extension of the arrangement, and rephasing of access. Discussions highlight that the Jordanian authorities have preserved macroeconomic stability, maintain a prudent monetary policy, and ensured a sound financial system. Jordan faces a challenging environment—including low economic growth, high unemployment, and elevated public debt—underscoring the importance of swiftly implementing policies and reforms to bring public debt on a downward path, boost investment and productivity, and enhance inclusive growth. The enactment of long needed growth-enhancing reforms is encouraging, including the secured transactions law, the bankruptcy law, and the business-inspections law. The international community has strongly supported the new government’s commitment to maintain the reform momentum, strengthen growth, and reduce public debt. The London Initiative in February 2019 has helped unlock essential budget grants and concessional financing to support the authorities’ reform program.
Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa and Mr. Christoph Duenwald
Analysis of policies for managing public sector wage bills in the Middle East and Central Asia region. While some work has been done recently at the Fund on issues related to government employment and compensation, to our knowledge, this is the first study to systematically examine, with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia region, the recent trends and drivers of public wage bills in the region and to identify key policy implications.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses the Syrian Refugee Crisis (SRC) and conflicts in Syria and Iraq have weighed on investor sentiment, tourism, and exports but the influx of Syrians is likely to have increased aggregate demand. Labor market conditions deteriorated after the massive influx of refugees and nontradable prices accelerated. The balance of payment suffered pressures on the non-oil current account, owing to lower exports of goods and services and higher imports. The SRC has increased the direct fiscal costs persistently by above one percent of GDP, which could double after counting for quality and capital deterioration. The negative impact is decreasing as the influx of Syrian refugees slowed and the stock pushed up aggregate demand. The influx of more than 10 percent of Jordan’s original population may have certainly increased consumption, particularly, over time as the incomers settled and the likelihood of returning to their home country diminishes. Unemployment grew the most in governorates that host most of the refugees.