Numbers & Statistics

IMF Executive Board Reviews Implementation of IMF Commitments in Support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

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Via IMF (Den Internationale Valutafond)

On May 3, 2019, the Executive Board discussed a staff paper examining
the experience with implementation of the IMF’s commitments to support
the 2030 Development Agenda.


In 2015, the international community reached agreement on key elements
of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as reflected in theAddis Ababa Action Agenda, the adoption of theSustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Paris Agreement among parties to the UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on actions to combat climate change.

At that time, IMF’s Executive Board agreed that the primary
contribution the IMF could make to supporting the global development
agenda was to deliver on its core mandate of helping maintain
macroeconomic and financial stability at both the global and national
levels. The Board also agreed that there were several areas where
targeted expansion of Fund policy engagement and technical support
could help countries accelerate sustainable development.


The IMF committed to increase its support, primarily for developing
countries, in several areas, including: (i) strengthening national tax
systems; (ii) tackling large infrastructure gaps; (iii) promoting
economic inclusion; (iv) development of domestic financial markets; (v)
intensified engagement in fragile and conflict-affected states; (vi)
improving economic statistics; (vii) expanding the financial safety net
for developing countries; and (viii) addressing macroeconomic aspects
of climate change. Further initiatives that support attainment of the
SDGs, including developing methodologies to quantify the fiscal costs
of achieving individual goals and increasing IMF engagement in tackling
corruption vulnerabilities, have followed since 2015.

The new staff paper examines the experience with implementing these
commitments. Key findings from the assessment include:

  • IMF support for strengthening tax systems increased by 46 percent
    between 2015 and 2018;
  • Support for building state capacity to manage public investment
    increased, with detailed diagnostics of public investment management
    capacity undertaken in over 50 countries;
  • The volume of new analytical work on economic inclusion has
    increased, while coverage of inequality, gender, and financial
    inclusion in IMF operational work has expanded steadily;
  • IMF support for development of domestic financial markets increased
    by 13 percent between 2015 and 2018;
  • IMF technical support for fragile and conflict-affected states has
    risen, accounting for about one-quarter of all IMF capacity development
    support—although there is more to be done to strengthen the
    effectiveness of IMF engagement with these countries;

  • IMF support for building statistical capacity has increased by
    about one-third since 2014;
  • Limits
    on access to the IMF’s concessional lending facilities were increased
    by 50 percent in 2015, and were further increased by one-third as of
    end-May 2019;

  • Engagement on climate change issues has focused on (i) policy advice
    to contain carbon emissions (energy price reform, carbon pricing) and
    (ii) work to support resilience-building in countries vulnerable to
    large-scale natural disasters and climate change.

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The substantial scaling-up of technical support since 2015 was
facilitated by increased financing from bilateral donors, which is set
to level off around current levels. Efforts will now need to shift to
producing greater impact from existing resources through better
prioritization of projects and applying the lessons learned from the
recent scaling-up experience.

Executive Board Assessment


Executive Directors welcomed the opportunity to review the
implementation of commitments made by the Fund to support the 2030
development agenda. They agreed that the Fund has a critical role to
play in supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs), consistent with the Fund’s mandate and areas of expertise.

Directors welcomed the Fund’s strong track record in implementing its
specific commitments, while noting that, going forward, it will also be
important to assess the effectiveness of Fund support. They commended
the significant increase in technical assistance in strengthening tax
systems, which is critical if countries are to increase development
spending on a lasting basis. Directors also welcomed the intensified
Fund engagement on international taxation issues of relevance for
developing countries.

Directors agreed that scaling up of investment in public infrastructure
is needed to support economic development in many developing countries,
while emphasizing that the trajectory for public spending should be
consistent with maintaining or regaining a sustainable debt position.
They welcomed the increased use of the Public Investment Management
Assessment as a tool to guide efforts to increase the efficiency of
public investment. Directors also emphasized the importance of
strengthening debt management capacity in many countries and called for
expanded Fund support for country-owned efforts to build such capacity.

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Directors welcomed the substantive work the Fund has undertaken on the
macro-critical elements of inclusion, as well as the increased coverage
of inequality, gender, and financial inclusion issues in surveillance
work. They also welcomed the increase in technical support for
countries seeking to develop financial markets. Directors supported the
collaboration with the World Bank, based on the clear division of
responsibilities between the two institutions on financial sector

Directors supported the Fund’s work on climate change and on countries
exposed to natural disasters. They welcomed the increase in Fund
support for the development of statistical capacity, which is expected
to deliver significant improvements in national economic and
sociodemographic statistics. They also underscored the importance of
full implementation of the Fund’s 2018 framework for engagement on
governance issues for improving development outcomes.

Directors welcomed the Fund’s intensified engagement in fragile and
conflict- affected states, focused on achieving macroeconomic stability
and building core state capacities, and considered this work to be
critical for ending global poverty (SDG 1). They looked forward to an
assessment of the effectiveness of the Capacity-Building Framework
introduced on a pilot basis in 2017 and called for full and timely
implementation of the 2018 Management Implementation Plan to increase
the effectiveness of Fund engagement in fragile and conflicted-affected

Directors agreed with the cross-cutting lessons drawn from
implementation of the various initiatives, including the importance of
maintaining country ownership of reform programs over time and the need
for strategic and effective collaboration with development partners,
including the World Bank.

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Directors emphasized the need to maintain the high level of support
being provided to developing countries in areas of Fund expertise that
are critical for supporting growth and attainment of the SDGs. With
scope for further large increases in the volume of support limited by
budget constraints, Directors called for an increased focus on
enhancing the impact and efficiency of Fund assistance, drawing on the
conclusions of the recent review of the Fund’s capacity development
strategy and making full use of the results-based management framework.
They also called for aligning the HR strategy accordingly.
An appropriately measured communications strategy is also warranted.

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