Nature > Natural Disasters

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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses St. Lucia’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. IMF financing support provides resources to the countries’ authorities for essential health-related expenditures and income support to ease the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 on the population. In order to address the pandemic, the authorities announced measures to help employees and households, including income support to the unemployed, tax relief, and providing cash transfers to the most vulnerable and affected. The countries’ governments have responded to the pandemic by swiftly implementing containment measures, allocating scarce budgetary resources to critical health care spending, and introducing income support to the most affected sectors and households. Protection of the financial system will help cushion the economic impact of the pandemic. Measures have also been taken by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to facilitate the provision of credit and safeguard financial stability. The IMF will continue to be engaged with Dominica, Grenada, and St. Lucia, and stands ready to provide policy advice and further support as needed.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation explains that St. Lucia’s near-term growth prospects are favorable, supported by large infrastructure investment and robust tourist inflows. However, longer-term growth continues to be impeded by high public debt, lingering vulnerabilities in the financial system, and structural impediments to private investment. Diminishing policy buffers further weaken the country’s resilience to external shocks against the backdrop of aprecarious global outlook. Completion of long pending legislative initiatives, alongside stronger regional and domestic financial oversight, should provide banks with incentives to strengthen their balance sheets and increase the efficiency of financial intermediation. There is also a need to draw on supervisory and regulatory tools to respond to emerging risks from rising overseas investments of the banks and the rapid expansion of lending by credit unions. The authorities are recommended to should step up efforts to address the institutional, financing and capacity gaps in its climate and disaster response strategy. Supply-side reforms are needed to unlock potential growth by improving the business environment, reducing energy costs, enhancing labor productivity, and further diversifying the economy.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that the GDP growth in St. Lucia reached 3 percent in 2017, sustained by robust activity in several sectors. Favorable external conditions, coupled with hotel expansions and the addition of new flights, generated a strong recovery in tourism, with stay-over arrivals rising by 11 percent, the fastest growth in the Caribbean. Backed by strong tourism inflows, the current account balance strengthened. Unemployment declined from 21.3 percent in 2016 to 20.2 percent in 2017, but youth unemployment remains high at 38.5 percent and labor force participation has fallen. The short-term outlook is favorable, but prospects beyond that are sobering. GDP growth is expected to remain buoyant in the near term.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of the Marshall Islands is estimated to have expanded by about 0.5 percent in FY2015 (ending September 30), as the fishery sector recovered. Following a moderate inflation of 1.1 percent in FY2014, headline inflation dropped to –2.2 percent in FY2015 amid falling oil and utility prices. The fiscal balance is estimated to have recorded a surplus of about 3 percent of GDP in FY2014–15, owing to record-high fishing license fees. Growth is expected to rise to about 1.5 percent and inflation to about 0.5 percent in FY2016, as the effects of the drought in earlier 2016 are offset by the resumption of infrastructure projects.
International Monetary Fund
The Executive Board of the IMF has approved a disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 2.075 million under the Rapid Credit Facility for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to help the country manage the economic impact of Hurricane Tomas. The Board’s approval enables the immediate disbursement of the full amount. The late-October 2010 hurricane inflicted significant damage to agriculture, housing, and infrastructure. The initial assessment conducted by the government estimated the cost of damage at 5 percent of gross domestic product.
Mr. Alessandro Prati, Mr. Luca A Ricci, Lone Engbo Christiansen, Mr. Stephen Tokarick, and Mr. Thierry Tressel

Abstract

Assessments of exchange rate misalignments and external imbalances for low-income countries are challenging because methodologies developed for advanced and emerging economies cannot be automatically applied to poorer nations. This paper uses a large database, unique in the set of indicators and number of countries it covers, to estimate the relationship in low-income countries between a set of fundamentals in the medium to long term and the real effective exchange rate, the current account, and the net external assets position.

International Monetary Fund
The 2007 Article IV Consultation with Grenada discusses strong economic rebound in the aftermath of a hurricane devastation and broadly favorable economic prospects, with major tourism investments under way and the gradual recovery of the agricultural sector. The government’s highly successful debt restructuring is now largely complete and has resulted in substantial debt service savings. Executive Directors welcomed the efforts being made by the authorities to enhance the business climate and improve competitiveness, including through the recently developed national export strategy and other measures to reduce business costs.
Mr. David J Hofman and Ms. Patricia A Brukoff
Natural disasters can put severe strain on public finances, in particular in developing and small countries. But catastrophe insurance markets increasingly offer opportunities for the transfer of such risks. Thus far, developing countries have only tepidly begun to tap these opportunities. More frequent and intensive use of insurance markets may be desirable because it could help introduce an important element of predictability in the post-disaster public finances of disaster-prone developing countries. Against this background, the paper surveys the various available insurance modalities and reviews recent initiatives in developing and emerging market countries. It also identifies some key challenges for the insurance community, donors, and international financial institutions (IFIs).
International Monetary Fund
Grenada quickly recovered from the devastating effects of Hurricane Ivan. Executive Directors welcomed the economic reform program aimed to promote economic growth, restore fiscal and debt sustainability, reduce vulnerabilities, and alleviate poverty. They emphasized the need to strengthen the financial regulatory framework and accelerate structural reforms. They agreed that steadfast policy implementation can reduce debt and fiscal sustainability. They commended that the new strategy will help to address its economic and social challenges, and recommended for an arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility.