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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to serve as the development guideposts until 2030, were adopted at New York in September 2015. The policies to meet the SDGs were discussed at the Third International UN Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) at Addis Ababa in July 2015. The IMF contributed significantly to the global development agenda, including by launching a joint initiative with the World Bank to support developing countries in strengthening their tax revenues. An IMF paper identifies key areas in which the IMF will enhance its support for developing countries. Another paper outlines a package of proposals to enhance financial support to low-income countries, by expanding access to all of its concessional facilities by 50 percent and with a zero interest rate for emergency financing (e.g natural disasters). The package of new deliverables was announced by the Managing Director at an event organized by the Brookings Institution in July, and delivered at Addis by DMD Zhu. An IMF paper to the Development Committee outlines how the IMF’s new initiatives will be operationalized through its policy advice, capacity building and lending.

A staff discussion note, discussing the core SDGs that relate closely to the IMF’s work and mandate, was launched by the Managing Director at Brookings. A high-level seminar at the Peru Annual Meetings focused on the priorities to implement the SDGs. Staff also organized conferences jointly with other organizations, to discuss new and enduring challenges in development finance faced by developing countries.

With infrastructure investment a vital ingredient for development, an IMF policy paper delves on the different approaches to measuring public investment management and efficiency, and policy priorities to strengthen this capacity to make public investment more efficient.

The IMF Board supported the graduation of four low-income countries from the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust in light of their economic advancement or ability to raise financing from global financial markets. A high-level conference in Mauritius brought together senior policy makers from frontier and emerging markets to share their experiences in managing capital flows and draw lessons, and a new book assesses the economic potential of the next generation of emerging markets in Asia.

A policy paper reviews the Fund’s experience in implementing the lessons drawn in the 2011 Board paper on the Fund’s engagement in Fragile States and identifies scope for improving this engagement in selected areas (capacity building, Fund facilities and program design, policy support). The Catastrophe Containment and Relief (CCR) Trust was created to enable provision of grants for debt relief to countries hit by public health disasters with a potential for spillover across borders. The Fund responded to the Ebola outbreak by providing about US$405 million in concessional loans to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, with about US$100 million in grants for debt relief.

The policy tensions in spurring growth while limiting income inequality is a rising challenge in most economies, including LICs. A recent book delves into the key fiscal policy issues that arise in tackling these policy dilemmas, and focuses on the appropriate policy design to achieve both economic efficiency and better distributional outcomes. An IMF analysis (October 2015 SSA Regional Economic Outlook) zooms in on specific inclusion challenges confronted by sub-Saharan Africa. The IMF hosted—jointly with DFID—a second workshop on “Macroeconomic Policy and Income Inequality” in October.

The 2015 Spring Meetings Seminar discussed the challenges faced by commodity exporters due to falling commodity prices and the policies needed to enhance their resilience by diversifying their exports and sources of growth. The Fall 2015 WEO quantifies the impact of recent commodity price declines on growth in these economies and the Fiscal Monitor examines the implications for fiscal revenues and management of natural resource wealth.

The Global Monitoring Report—produced jointly by the World Bank and the IMF—details the progress the world has made towards global development goals and examines the impact of demographic change on achieving these goals. The Report analyzes how profound demographic shifts could alter the course of global development in the period leading up to the new SDGs target date of 2030. IMF’s work on sub-Saharan Africa highlights the specific priorities in the African continent to optimize the payoffs from the demographic transitions in the region.


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