News Briefs

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
August 2008
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Togo Requests Flood Relief

President Fauré Gnassingbe of Togo has requested emergency IMF financial support for his country, which has been hit by devastating floods.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said he would recommend to the IMF Executive Board a rapid increase in existing financial support to Togo via the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement.

“I offered my deepest condolences and sympathy to the people of Togo, and agreed that this is a very challenging time for them and the government,” Strauss-Kahn said, underscoring the institution’s strong commitment to the West African nation.

An IMF mission was scheduled to arrive in Togo’s capital, Lomé, on August 27, as part of a regular review of Togo’s $108.4 million PRGF arrangement. Given the widespread flooding in the country, which has led to numerous deaths and injuries and caused significant economic disruption, Strauss-Kahn said a senior IMF economist would be sent to Togo ahead of the mission to focus on immediate actions to help the authorities and the donor community address the country’s emerging needs.

New Book on Exchange Rate Analysis

Exchange rate analysis lies at the center of the IMF’s surveillance mandate and policy advice. IMF staff analyze a variety of exchange rate issues in various member countries, both small and large, from the least economically developed to the most advanced, and from those whose currencies circulate only locally to those whose currencies are of global importance.

A new book, Exchange Rate Analysis in Support of IMF Surveillance, aims to give a flavor of the exchange rate topics the IMF staff typically examine, including the determination and impact of the real exchange rate, competitiveness and the equilibrium real exchange rate in specific countries or country groups, and considerations in the choice of exchange rate regime.

IMF Public Debt Managers’ Forum

Public debt managers, central bankers, and representatives of the private sector gathered in Warsaw, Poland, for the 8th IMF Public Debt Managers’ Forum.

The July 14–15 forum, which was cohosted by the National Bank of Poland and the Polish Ministry of Finance, attracted participants from a wide range of emerging market and mature market countries.

The IMF is uniquely placed to advance the understanding of macro-financial linkages, to make the right connections between events and trends, and to provide early warning of problems, IMF Deputy Managing Director Murilo Portugal said in introductory remarks.

Morocco Makes Strong Gains

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, in a statement at the end of his visit to Morocco, congratulated the Moroccan authorities on the country’s strong economic gains in recent years, which have made it a “pillar of development” of the region.

Strauss-Kahn noted the need to sustain the current reform momentum, adding that increasing Morocco’s openness to the global economy would help raise living standards and create jobs. And reducing subsidies over the medium term, he said, would create room to boost spending on investment and social programs as well as reduce public debt.

Strauss-Kahn’s trip in late July also included a stop in Nouakchott, Mauritania, where he attended a seminar for African governors of the IMF and the World Bank.

Guinea Gets $28.7 Million

The IMF Executive Board reviewed in late July Guinea’s performance under a three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility arrangement and approved a $35 million augmentation of the arrangement. The review’s completion triggered an immediate disbursement of $28.7 million. These additional resources, together with donor support, should help lessen the impact of the recent surge in oil and food prices on the country.

“It will be important to target measures to alleviate the impact of higher food prices on the most vulnerable,” IMF Deputy Managing Director Murilo Portugal said, adding that the country would need to curtail nonpriority expenditures.

2008 IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings

The Boards of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank normally meet once a year in autumn to discuss the work of their respective institutions. This year’s Annual Meetings will be held on October 11—13 in Washington, D.C.

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