Ensuring macroeconomic stability, providing a foundation for sustainable and inclusive growth, and addressing weak governance are the tenets of the ECF-supported program. The COVID-19 pandemic was a painful setback, but economic activity should recover by end-2021 and prospects for growth in 2022 are favorable. Prudent monetary and fiscal policies allowed inflation to decline into the single digits. The authorities are addressing disruptive currency shortages through a comprehensive currency changeover operation. While the SDR allocation provides timely room for supportive policies without compromising macroeconomic stability, the authorities remain committed to their reform program and generally continue to implement the necessary measures.
Restoring macroeconomic stability, providing a foundation for sustainable inclusive growth, and addressing weaknesses in governance remain the main objectives of this program. While allowing for a slight fiscal loosening to meet humanitarian needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, tight monetary policy, much improved public financial management, domestic revenue mobilization, and zero central bank financing have supported the administration’s efforts to achieve price and exchange rate stability. This has helped to preserve the purchasing power of the poor who were the most affected by the high inflation environment at the program’s inception. The authorities consider bringing the ECF-supported program back on track of utmost importance and are committed to their development plan, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
The temporary increase in access limits under IMF emergency financing instruments will expire on October 5, 2020, unless extended. Access limits under emergency instruments (the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI)) were increased in April 2020 for a period of six months, from 50 to 100 percent of quota annually and from 100 to 150 percent of quota cumulatively. The increased limits are subject to review and can be extended before their expiration. It is proposed to extend the period of higher access limits for emergency financing for a period of six months, through April 6, 2021. Against a background of continued pandemic-related disruption, staff expects there could be significant demand for emergency lending in the October 2020–April 2021 period, including from countries with pending requests and from countries that received emergency support at levels less than the maximum amounts available. A six-month extension would give more time for countries to benefit from higher access limits under emergency financing.
This paper presents Liberia’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. The economic impact of the pandemic is hitting the poorest with little social safety net, and food security of those relying on uncertain daily income is a pressing concern. The authorities have responded by taking revenue and expenditure measures to support emergency food aid for the poor; improving monitoring and control of spending; and safeguarding scarce foreign exchange reserves. Preliminary data suggest that performance under the Extended Credit Facility-supported program has been weak, though the authorities are fully committed to address the weaknesses. In order to address the shortage of Liberian dollars and the growing need for more US dollar liquidity, the authorities have contracted the printing of additional Liberian dollar bank notes and are formulating measures for inclusion in the FY2021 budget to augment US dollar liquidity.
This paper highlights Liberia’s Request for a Four-Year Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility. The program aims to support the authorities’ strong adjustment efforts, catalyze significant donor financing, and provide a framework within which to implement the authorities’ ambitious reform agenda. The authorities have demonstrated commitment by passing a credible budget for FY2020 that consolidates public finances, including by rightsizing the compensation of employees and implementing long-overdue comprehensive civil service reform, while protecting funds for critical social spending. The program also aims to catalyze substantial external support, which is critical to ensure that the programmed adjustment can be contained at levels that are politically and economically feasible while, at the same time, ensuring public and external debt sustainability. Ensuring financial sector stability is an important element of the program. Improving data reporting, obtaining an overview of the health of the banking system, and taking decisive measures as needed will help identify and address financial sector vulnerabilities. At the same time, enhancing the legal framework is important to ensure that the Central Bank of Liberia has the required instruments should remediation be necessary.
Liberia remains a fragile, post-conflict country with weak capacity and limited physical and human capital accumulation. External assistance to Liberia is winding down from its peak in 2016. To address pressing needs, the government launched its Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), focusing on physical and human capital accumulation. Policy uncertainty and slippages, however, imposed a significant toll on the economy over the past two years. Particularly, higher fiscal deficits and accommodative monetary policy have led to rapid depreciation of the Liberia dollar and increased inflation, eroding the purchasing power of the poor.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept.
The Fund is facing strong demand for financing from low-income countries (LICs). Commodity price shocks and loose fiscal policies have contributed to rising debt levels and financing needs in many countries. Several developing states, especially smaller ones, are also increasingly vulnerable to large natural disasters. At the same time, many LICs less dependent on commodity exports have enjoyed robust growth in recent years, with more contained vulnerabilities.
IMF Financial Operations 2018 provides a broad introduction to how the IMF fulfills its mission through its financial activities. It covers the financial structure and operations of the IMF and provides background detail on