WASHINGTON, USA -- The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the fifth review of Haiti’s performance under the extended credit facility (ECF) arrangement on March 11, 2013. Completion of the review will enable an immediate disbursement of SDR 4.914 million (about US$7.4 million), bringing total disbursements under the program to date to SDR 36.036 million (about US$54.1 million).
Haiti’s ECF arrangement was approved on July 21, 2010, together with the full relief on the country’s outstanding debt to the Fund of about SDR 178 million (equivalent to US$268 million). The debt relief, financed by the Post-Catastrophe Debt Relief (PCDR) trust fund and IMF financing are part of a broad international strategy to support Haiti’s longer-term economic reconstruction plans, following the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010.
Following the executive board’s discussion, Naoyuki Shinohara, IMF deputy managing director and acting board chair, issued the following statement:
“Haiti’s performance under the ECF-supported program continues to be broadly satisfactory. Sound policies have contributed to safeguard macroeconomic and financial stability. However, economic activity remains subdued, reflecting limited absorptive capacity, a business environment that needs to be strengthened, and frequent natural disasters.
“In the short-run, the key challenge is to accelerate reconstruction and sustain the recovery following the 2010 earthquake, while safeguarding macroeconomic stability. Looking ahead, macroeconomic policies and structural and institutional reforms to enhance the country’s resilience, particularly to natural disasters, will also be needed to protect long-term growth, reduce unemployment, and raise living standards.
“Efforts should focus on optimizing fiscal policy for higher and inclusive growth, particularly by expanding fiscal space for development spending, improving the execution rate and quality of capital spending, and strengthening public financial management. Maintaining price stability and facilitating external adjustment should also remain key priorities.
“Accelerating the pace of structural reforms will be important to enhance competitiveness, safeguard external stability and achieve higher and more inclusive growth. Efforts should focus on enhancing the business environment, particularly by removing infrastructure bottlenecks, increasing transparency and improving governance, and deepening financial intermediation.”