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IMF / Tunisia, India, Uganda, and United States of America

Release Date: 06 May 2021

The IMF confirmed on Thursday (May 6th) in Washington, DC that discussions took place in recent days between IMF staff and Tunisian authorities regarding their economic reform program.

“I can confirm that the Fund staff met with the Tunisian authorities here in Washington earlier this week, and they shared with us indeed their economic reform program and our technical discussions currently focus on understanding the details of their plans for that economic reform program,” said Gerry Rice, IMF’s Spokesperson.

He also added that the IMF doesn’t have a timeline on those discussions at the moment and stressed that the IMF stands ready to support Tunisia and the Tunisian people to cope with the impact of the crisis and move forward to an inclusive drawbridge recovery and restore sustainable finances. 

On India, Rice expressed his deepest sympathies and condolences to the Indian people on the “human tragedy” that is happening in India because of the COVID-19 crisis. He also added that IMF continues to engage closely with the Indian authorities and welcomed the recent announcements by several countries to provide immediate support to help India in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The human tragedy, indeed, is a stark reminder that the pandemic continues to be a grave threat globally. And on that -- on that point, at the IMF, we are redoubling our efforts to foster global collaboration. We welcome the most recent announcements by several countries to provide immediate support to India, and just to reiterate that we believe a multilateral response is critical to overcome the pandemic, in India and globally,” said Rice.

Since the start of the pandemic, the IMF has provided more than $110 billion in new financing to 86 countries, Uganda is one of them. Rice confirmed that the Ugandan authorities have requested a new three-year financial arrangement and as a result the discussions between the IMF and the Ugandan authorities have progressed.

“The authorities have requested a three-year financial arrangement.  Again, to help continue to fight against the pandemic and build forward to more inclusive growth. I can tell you discussions have progressed well with details yet to be ironed out on the potential magnitude of that financial assistance and on the authority's reform program that would be the compliment to any financial arrangement from the IMF. So, the exact final amount will depend on Uganda's estimated balance of payments needs and the strength of policies the authorities commit to implement,” said Rice.

Gita Gopinath, IMF’s chief economist shared the FED’s views and said in conversation on divergent recoveries from the pandemic with Bruegel Director’s Guntram Wolff on Wednesday (May 5th) that the U.S. $1.9 trillion stimulus package, while large is still temporary and that a transitory increase in inflation might appear in the horizon, which Rice complimented in today’s presser.

“On inflation, while we do see some transitory pickup in inflation, we do not see it likely that this would translate into a persistent overshooting of the FED’s target rate, which is average inflation of about 2%. And FED officials ‑‑ that's the U.S. Federal Reserve ‑‑ have emphasized that they have sufficient tools to control inflationary shocks and these include, of course, forward guidance, as well as actual monetary policy action,” said Rice.

To watch the full presser, click here

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