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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Early and decisive measures successfully prevented an outbreak of COVID-19 in Nauru, and as of January 2022 there have been no COVID-19 cases on the island. Strong pandemic policy measures supported the economy, which continued to expand in FY20 and FY21. Nauru’s remoteness and size constrain potential growth and it is severely exposed to the negative effects of climate change on sea levels and the ocean stock of tuna. Development challenges are exacerbated by limited capacity and a high incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Vybhavi Balasundharam, Ms. Leni Hunter, Iulai Lavea, and Mr. Paul G Seeds
Pacific island countries (PICs) rely on national airlines for connectivity, trade, and tourism. These airlines are being struck hard by COVID-19. Losses will weigh on public sector balance sheets and pose risks to economic recovery. With a backdrop of tight fiscal space and increasing government debt, losses in airlines are adding to fiscal risks in some PICs. This paper discusses tools to evaluate and manage the fiscal risks from national airlines in the Pacific. We present a snapshot of the current state of Public Financial Management (PFM) practices in PICs and detail the best practices. This exercise would illustrate the areas in which PICs have scope to improve their risk management with regard to national airlines. We then discuss the use of diagnostic tools and capacity development to enhance monitoring and risk management. Greater transparency and accountability in the airlines, combined with rigorous oversight, would be the first step towards improved financial management of national airlines.