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Rasmané Ouedraogo and Mr. David Stenzel
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have led to a rise in gender-based violence. In this paper, we explore the economic consequences of violence against women in sub-Saharan Africa using large demographic and health survey data collected pre-pandemic. Relying on a two-stage least square method to address endogeneity, we find that an increase in the share of women subject to violence by 1 percentage point can reduce economic activities (as proxied by nightlights) by up to 8 percent. This economic cost results from a significant drop in female employment. Our results also show that violence against women is more detrimental to economic development in countries without protective laws against domestic violence, in natural resource rich countries, in countries where women are deprived of decision-making power and during economic downturns. Beyond the moral imperative, the findings highlight the importance of combating violence against women from an economic standpoint, particularly by reinforcing laws against domestic violence and strengthening women’s decision-making power.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Context. The authorities met all their commitments under the Staff-Monitored Program (SMP), despite economic and financial difficulties. Inadequate external inflows, lower commodity prices, the dollar appreciation, and the El-Niño-induced drought hurt economic activity. The authorities have started to rationalize civil service by exploiting opportunities for cost savings, amended the Public Financial Management and Procurement Acts for Parliament and Cabinet approval, respectively, and rid the financial sector of problem banks and reduced non-performing loans. They garnered broad support for their reengagement strategy from creditors and development partners, in particular their plans to clear arrears to the International Financial Institutions.

Mr. Alfredo Cuevas

Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. In the context of the 2012 Article IV consultation with Zimbabwe, the following documents have been released and are included in this package

Mr. Geoffrey J Bannister
Empirical studies suggest that trade reform has a positive effect on employment and income for the poor; however, there are winners and losers. If the transitional costs of trade liberalization fall disproportionately on the poor, trade reform can be designed to mitigate these effects. This includes making reforms as broad based as possible, sequencing and phasing them to allow for adjustment, and implementing social safety nets and other reforms that facilitate adjustment to the new trade policy. In assessing these findings, it should be borne in mind that the links between trade reform and poverty are complex, making systematic empirical investigations difficult.
Mr. Arne L Bigsten
This paper examines dynamic patterns of investment in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe, assessing the consistency of those patterns with different adjustment cost structures. Using survey data on manufactured firms, we document the importance of zero investment episodes and lumpy investment. The proportion of firms experiencing large investment spikes is significant in explaining aggregate manufacturing investment. Taken together, evidence from descriptive statistics, average investment regressions modeling the response to capital imbalance, and transition data analysis indicate that irreversibility is an important factor considered by firms when making investment plans. The picture is not unanimous however, and some explanations for the mixed results are proposed.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper discusses various foreign payments practices in the United States. Most foreign payments in the United States are, therefore, done along traditional lines in whatever manner. Several nontraditional practices, however, have developed in recent years as the result of trade and payments restrictions established by foreign Governments. The amount and type of exchange sold by the US banks to their customers are limited only, if at all, by regulations abroad or by the banks' own limitations. In making or receiving foreign payments, the US banks deal generally with three types of customers which are, in the order of their importance: exporters and importers, individuals or corporations desiring to make or receive nontrade financial payments, and speculators. Foreign payments for account of individuals are usually small individually however, in the aggregate, they represent an important function of the banks located in the larger cities with a considerable foreign-born population.