Middle East and Central Asia > Pakistan

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Mr. Edward F Buffie, Mr. Christopher S Adam, Luis-Felipe Zanna, and Mr. Kangni R Kpodar
We analyze the medium-term macroeconomic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lock-down measures on low-income countries. We focus on the impact over the medium-run of the degradation of health and human capital caused by the pandemic and its aftermath, exploring the trade-offs between rebuilding human capital and the recovery of livelihoods and macroeconomic sustainability. A dynamic general equilibrium model is calibrated to reflect the structural characteristics of vulnerable low-income countries and to replicate key dimensions of the Covid-19 shock. We show that absent significant and sustained external financing, the persistence of loss-of-learning effects on labor productivity is likely to make the post-Covid recovery more attenuated and more expensive than many contemporary analyses suggest.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

A fragile recovery continues in the Middle East and Central Asia region. The region has made good progress since the beginning of the year, but new challenges have emerged. They include a pandemic wave in countries with weak vaccination progress and rising inflation, which has contributed to declining monetary policy space, adding to the difficulties posed by limited fiscal policy space. Additionally, divergent recoveries and concerns about economic scarring persist. Inequities are also on the rise, and countries will need to tackle the pandemic’s impact on debt, labor markets, and the corporate sector. Countries will face difficult tradeoffs amid this challenging environment as they continue to manage the current crisis. Ramping up vaccine acquisition and distribution remains the most urgent short-term priority. Additional support should be well targeted, and central banks may need to raise interest rates if inflation expectations start to increase. Improving policy frameworks will be important to reduce policy tradeoffs. Preparing for a new chapter by investing in a transformational recovery will be vital to the region’s future. Important priorities include reorienting the role of the state toward health, education, and social safety nets; leveraging global trends like digitalization; and investing in climate-resilient technology.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

A year into the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the race between vaccine and virus entered a new phase in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the path to recovery in 2021 is expected to be long and divergent. The outlook will vary significantly across countries, depending on the pandemic’s path, vaccine rollouts, underlying fragilities, exposure to tourism and contact-intensive sectors, and policy space and actions. 2021 will be the year of policies that continue saving lives and livelihoods and promote recovery, while balancing the need for debt sustainability and financial resilience. At the same time, policymakers must not lose sight of the transformational challenges to build forward better and accelerate the creation of more inclusive, resilient, sustainable, and green economies. Regional and international cooperation will be key complements to strong domestic policies.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Countries of the Middle East and Central Asia region have been hit by two large and reinforcing shocks, resulting in significantly weaker growth projections in 2020. In addition to the devastating toll on human health, the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in oil prices are causing economic turmoil in the region, with fragile and conflict affected states particularlyhard-hit given already large humanitarian and refugee challenges and weak health infrastructures. The immediate priority for policies is to save lives with needed health spending, regardless of fiscal space, while preserving engines of growth with targeted support to households and hard-hit sectors. In this context, the IMF has been providing emergency assistance to help countries in the region during these challenging times. Further ahead, economic recoveries should be supported with broad fiscal and monetary measures where policy space is available, and by seeking external assistance where space is limited.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Countries of the Middle East and Central Asia region have been hit by two large and reinforcing shocks, resulting in significantly weaker growth projections in 2020. In addition to the devastating toll on human health, the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in oil prices are causing economic turmoil in the region, with fragile and conflict affected states particularlyhard-hit given already large humanitarian and refugee challenges and weak health infrastructures. The immediate priority for policies is to save lives with needed health spending, regardless of fiscal space, while preserving engines of growth with targeted support to households and hard-hit sectors. In this context, the IMF has been providing emergency assistance to help countries in the region during these challenging times. Further ahead, economic recoveries should be supported with broad fiscal and monetary measures where policy space is available, and by seeking external assistance where space is limited.

International Monetary Fund. Office of Budget and Planning
The paper presents highlights from the FY 2020 budget, followed by a discussion of outputs based on the Fund Thematic Categories and of inputs.
International Monetary Fund
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a uniquely severe synchronized shock across the global economy, in turn leading numerous member countries to request substantial financial assistance from the Fund. The Executive Board responded to members’ needs by increasing the access limits under the Fund’s emergency financing instruments by 50 percent of quota for a period of 6 months (until October 5, 2020), subject to a possible extension by the Executive Board.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper highlights Pakistan’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). With the near-term outlook deteriorating sharply, the authorities have swiftly put in place measures to contain the impact of the shock and support economic activity. Crucially, health spending has been increased and social support strengthened. While uncertainty remains high, the near-term economic impact of coronavirus disease 2019 is expected to be significant, giving rise to large fiscal and external financing needs. The IMF support will help to provide a backstop against the decline in international reserves and provide financing to the budget for targeted and temporary spending increases aimed at containing the pandemic and mitigating its economic impact. In response to the crisis, the government of Pakistan has taken swift action to halt the community spread of the virus and introduced an economic stimulus package aimed at accommodating the spending needed to tackle the health emergency and supporting economic activity.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Countries of the Middle East and Central Asia region have been hit by two large and reinforcing shocks, resulting in significantly weaker growth projections in 2020. In addition to the devastating toll on human health, the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in oil prices are causing economic turmoil in the region, with fragile and conflict affected states particularlyhard-hit given already large humanitarian and refugee challenges and weak health infrastructures. The immediate priority for policies is to save lives with needed health spending, regardless of fiscal space, while preserving engines of growth with targeted support to households and hard-hit sectors. In this context, the IMF has been providing emergency assistance to help countries in the region during these challenging times. Further ahead, economic recoveries should be supported with broad fiscal and monetary measures where policy space is available, and by seeking external assistance where space is limited.