Protecting Education and Health Spending in Low-Income Countries

By Christine Lagarde

June 6, 2017

Versions in عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Français (French) 日本語 (Japanese), Русский (Russian), and Español (Spanish)

Senior class in Nairobi, Kenya. In many countries with IMF-supported programs public spending on education grew significantly faster than the economy of the country (photo: Xinhua/Sipa USA/Newscom)

IMF-supported programs are designed to help economies get back on their feet, but what about their impact on social spending?

Our latest research shows that health and education spending have typically been protected in low-income country programs. In fact, an analysis of more than 25 years of data (1988–2014) suggests that public health spending, as a share of GDP, has on average remained unchanged, while public education spending has increased by 0.32 percentage points.

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Small States Confront Big Challenges with Natural Disasters and Climate Change

taozhangBy Tao Zhang

Versions in 中文 (Chinese), and Français (French)

Small states are far more vulnerable than other countries to natural disasters and climate change. On average, the annual cost of disasters for small states (economies with a population of less than 1.5 million) is more than four times that for larger countries, in relation to GDP. These countries—whether landlocked nations or small island states—need a range of approaches to deal with catastrophe, including not only better disaster response but also more focus on risk reduction and preparedness. Continue reading “Small States Confront Big Challenges with Natural Disasters and Climate Change” »

Resolve and Determination—How We Get Out of This Together

Coming in to the 2011 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank this past weekend, I had warned of the dangerous new phase for the global economy and had called for bold and collective action. Coming out of the Meetings, I feel strongly that the global community is beginning to respond. Why? Three reasons: a shared sense of urgency, a shared diagnosis of the problems, and a shared sense that the steps needed in the period ahead are now coming into focus. So, looking ahead, follow through—by all concerned—is now even more important. That means taking action not in the years ahead, but in the weeks ahead. And, in that, we are all in this together and we can only get out of it together.

Weak Global Economy Tops Agenda at IMF-World Bank Gathering

Recent turbulence in financial markets and increased risks in the global economy mean that the 2011 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank are taking place at a critical time for the global economy. Economic leaders will come together to assess the state of the world economy and discuss the policy actions needed to deal with today’s global economic challenges. About 10,000 policymakers, private sector and civil society representatives, journalists, and academics are expected to attend the Annual Meetings, which are set to take place on September 23–24. In an interview, Reza Moghadam, Director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, discusses the issues that are likely to receive most attention at the meetings.

IMF: A Big Enough Safety Net?

By Reza Moghadam

As the financial crisis pulled the rug from under the emerging markets, analysts and policymakers alike began to question the adequacy of Fund resources.  This worry was neither new nor surprising. For decades, private international capital flows had grown at a much faster rate than those of the IMF, rendering our institution too small to be able to deal with systemic crises. 

As one country after another approached the Fund for financial assistance, it become clear that the international community needed to act decisively. Thus in April, the leaders of the G-20 industrial and emerging market countries, supported by the entire IMF membership, called for a tripling of the IMF’s lending resources from $250 billion to $750 billion. By early September, individual country pledges, including from many non-G20 countries, had reached the promised $500 billion in contingent resources that could be called by the Fund if needed. 

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By | September 15th, 2009|Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Financial Crisis, recession|
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