IMF Notes


September 29, 2022

Tackling the Global Food Crisis: Impact, Policy Response, and the Role of the IMF

Description: Russia’s war in Ukraine has exacerbated food insecurity that had already been on the rise for half a decade. Low-income countries are affected the most. This note suggests that the food and fertilizer price shock would add $9 billion in 2022 and 2023 to the import bills of the 48 most affected countries. The budgetary cost of protecting vulnerable households in these countries amounts to $5–7 billion. Strong and timely action on a global scale is needed to support vulnerable households through international humanitarian assistance and domestic fiscal measures; to maintain open trade; to enhance food production and distribution; and to invest in climate-resilient agriculture. The IMF has been stepping up its engagement to help tackle the global food crisis, working closely with partners, by providing policy advice, capacity building and financing. IMF financing is a third line of defense in meeting external financing needs associated with the global food shock, which should ideally be covered by donor grants and concessional borrowing from MDBs. A new food shock window under the emergency financing instruments is expected to be approved soon to further strengthen its lending response to the food crisis.

September 8, 2022

Policies to Address the Refugee Crisis in Europe Related to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Description: Refugees from Ukraine face multiple vulnerabilities, with many requiring humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs. In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, host countries in Europe and beyond have adopted measures to support refugees, including residency rights, free movement across countries, access to labor markets and integration policies, health and education services, housing options, banking services, and social protection systems. Drawing on previous IMF work on the economic challenges of refugees, this note provides an overview of policy responses needed to provide effective support to refugees fleeing Ukraine.

August 30, 2022

Taxing Windfall Profits in the Energy Sector

Description: The surge in fossil fuel prices in 2022 has generated substantial windfall profits in the energy sector. Policymakers in many countries are exploring policies to tax part of these profits. Excess profits can be taxed by tax instruments targeted at economic rents that avoid discouraging investment and limit any impact on further price increases. Many fossil fuel producing countries already have an adequate rent-capturing fiscal instrument in place. Others may consider introducing a permanent tax on windfall profits from fossil fuel extraction but should be more cautious about temporary and possibly poorly designed windfall profit taxes. Given the importance of encouraging decarbonatization of energy generation, it seems counter-intuitive to introduce exceptional tax measures on renewable electricity generation.

June 7, 2022

Fiscal Policy for Mitigating the Social Impact of High Energy and Food Prices

Description: Fiscal policy has a crucial role in lessening the impact on the most vulnerable households. Governments must balance by ensuring access to energy and food, normalizing fiscal policy after unprecedented support in 2020, and promoting green transformation.