Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mali: IMF Executive Board Reviews Mali’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

International Monetary Fund

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today discussed Mali’s third Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.

Following the Executive Board’s discussion, Mr. Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:

“Mali’s third Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for 2012–17 (GPRSP-3) and Plan for the Sustainable Revival of Mali in 2013–14 (PRED) lay out a comprehensive and ambitious program for tackling Mali’s development and macroeconomic challenges. The G-PRSP-3, building on extensive and broad-based consultations, stands on five pillars: peace and security, macroeconomic stability, pro-poor growth, equitable access to quality social services, and governance. The PRED focuses on the immediate priorities in the aftermath of the liberation of the North of the country: humanitarian assistance, the organization of transparent elections, the return of government’s authority in the North, and reconciliation among the population. Both plans emphasize fiscal sustainability, public financial management reforms, improvements in the business climate, further anti-corruption efforts, and aid effectiveness as priorities for sustainable growth, macroeconomic stability, and poverty reduction. The support of the international community at the Mali Donor Conference in Brussels on May 15 will be crucial.

“The GPRSP-3 and PRED envisage substantial scaling-up of expenditure to support development. This will require steady implementation of ongoing public financial management reforms to ensure that resources are utilized efficiently. In addition, domestic revenue efforts will be necessary to achieve a sustainable fiscal position over the medium term. Given the uncertainty surrounding the overall resource envelope, sectoral spending programs need to be carefully prioritized taking into account their impact on growth and poverty reduction.

“The GPRSP-3 and PRED emphasize private sector development as the foundation for sustained economic growth and employment. In this regard, they appropriately highlight the need for an enabling macroeconomic and business environment, including a sound legal and judicial framework, adequate and reliable infrastructure, a sound and efficient financial system, and strong education and health sectors.

“Successful implementation of the GPRSP-3 and PRED requires effective monitoring and evaluation of the outcomes of spending programs. This calls for improved performance indicators, more reliable statistics, and stronger institutions to monitor implementation of the authorities’ strategy. “Continued financial and technical support from Mali’s development partners is essential for the success of the GPRSP-3 and PRED. It will be important to improve the effectiveness of foreign assistance through greater harmonization of donor policies, better alignment of donor and country priorities, enhanced trading prospects for Mali, especially for the cotton sector, and the continuous development of the country’s capacity for absorbing aid.”