Niger: Second and Third Reviews Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement and Requests for Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria and for Extension of the Program Period and Arrangement, Rephrasing of Disbursements, and Modification of Performance Criteria-Staff Report; Press Release; and Statement by the Executive Director for Niger

Publication Date: June 19, 2014
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Summary: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Context: Niger’s economic performance suffered from the harmful effects of several exogenous shocks in 2013. Below average rainfall in the second half of the year, along with the deterioration of the security situation in the region, adversely affected real GDP growth. The combination of these shocks also impacted the fiscal and external positions, owing to increased security-related spending and lower exports and FDIs, and put additional strains on the fragile socio-economic environment, characterized by high food insecurity and weak provision of social services. Inflation remains low. Program: Despite these developments, the authorities have shown strong commitment to the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) program (approved on March 16, 2012 in an amount of SDR 78.96 million or 120 percent of quota). Program slippages in late 2012 resulted in three of the five performance criteria being missed. The implementation of key corrective measures, including strengthened revenue collections, has brought the program back on track, but overspending on current expenditures (half of which related to security) combined with temporary delays in receipt of external budgetary assistance, resulted in the end-June 2013 performance criterion on domestic financing being missed. In addition, reflecting insufficient coordination within the government, the performance criterion on the contracting of nonconcessional external debt was also missed. The authorities request waivers for the nonobservance of the missed performance criteria on the basis of corrective actions taken, including institutional changes to improve debt management. The prior action for the completion of this review was met, and progress continues to be made in implementing the structural benchmarks. Outlook and risks: The medium-term outlook appears favorable, with robust growth benefitting from important natural resource sector investments. However, the outlook is vulnerable to high domestic and external risks, including potential spillovers from the security situation in the region and climatic shocks. New borrowing arrangements will need to be managed prudently to contain debt vulnerabilities. Staff views: Staff recommends the completion of the second and third reviews under the ECF. Completion of these reviews will result in disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 22.56 million under the ECF arrangement.
Series: Country Report No. 14/168
Subject(s): Extended Credit Facility | Economic growth | Natural resources | Fiscal policy | Debt management | External borrowing | Fiscal reforms | Economic indicators | Staff Reports | Performance criteria modifications | Performance criteria waivers | Press releases | Niger

Publication Date: June 19, 2014
ISBN/ISSN: 9781498368018/1934-7685 Format: Paper
Stock No: 1NEREA2014001 Pages: 67
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