In Support of Healthcare

Letter to the Editor by Wipada Soonthornsima,
IMF Mission Chief for Swaziland
Mail & Guardian online
November 27, 2007

Sir/Madam:

We agree with Alan Whiteside and Scott Naysmith (A Country on the Edge, 26 November) that the AIDS pandemic is exacting a very heavy human and economic toll on Swaziland. This is well elaborated in their very informative analysis-"Reviewing `Emergencies' for Swaziland, Shifting the Paradigm on a New Era." However, we would like to clarify that the International Monetary Fund's policy advice has stressed the need to dedicate more resources to priority social spending, including health care. In this regard, in recent discussions for the Fund's annual consultation with the authorities, the IMF team urged the government to reorient spending to these priorities while containing overall public expenditure to levels that it can sustain in the years ahead [Statement by IMF Staff Mission to Swaziland.] Sound macroeconomic management is essential to support the faster growth that Swaziland needs to reduce its high levels of poverty.

Sincerely yours,

Wipada Soonthornsima
IMF Mission Chief for Swaziland
IMF, Washington D.C., U.S.A.



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