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Gareth Anderson, Paolo Galang, Mr. Andrea Gamba, Leandro Medina, and Tianxiao Zheng
This paper assess how priorities of the IMF’s membership have evolved over the past two decades, by using text mining techniques on a unique dataset combining IMFC communiqués and constituency statements. Our results reveal significant variation in priorities across time and constituencies. Statements can be characterized by the weight which they place on three key priorities: (i) growth; (ii) debt and development; and (iii) crisis management and quota reform. Sentiment analysis techniques also show that addressing climate change is a topic which is viewed positively by an increasing number of constituencies.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region and those in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with swift and stringent measures to mitigate its spread and impact but continue to face an uncertain and difficult environment. Oil exporters were particularly hard hit by a “double-whammy” of the economic impact of lockdowns and the resulting sharp decline in oil demand and prices. Containing the health crisis, cushioning income losses, and expanding social spending remain immediate priorities. However, governments must also begin to lay the groundwork for recovery and rebuilding stronger, including by addressing legacies from the crisis and strengthening inclusion.