LatinNews Daily - 25 January 2023

In brief: IMF completes first review of SMP with Haiti

* The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the first review of Haiti’s Staff-Monitored Programme (SMP), an informal agreement between national authorities and IMF staff approved in June 2022 to monitor the government’s economic programme. According to the IMF, the SMP (which does not include financial assistance) aims to help the government restore macroeconomic stability and lower inflation – a key goal given the burden of high inflation on the poor. A recent report by the United Nations Secretary-General estimated that in October 2022, year-on-year inflation reached 47.2%, a level not seen in nearly two decades. According to the IMF press release the SMP seeks to advance decisive governance reforms to enhance accountability through “stronger public finance management, revenue administration, transparency, and anti-corruption measures”. The announcement regarding the latest agreement comes the day after the IMF approved a disbursement of US$105m to Haiti under the Food Shock Window of the Rapid Credit Facility to help Haiti address “urgent balance of payment needs related to the global food crisis”. The IMF noted that Haiti has been hit hard by the global food price shock. It noted that with more than half the population already living below the poverty line, Haiti faces a dire humanitarian crisis, with an expected financing gap in FY2023 of at least US$105m (0.5% of GDP), assuming “import compression and pending additional external financing from development partners”.

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