The World Bank has committed more than $5.3 billion for development projects in Afghanistan, according to the organization’s website. The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, administered by the World Bank, has raised more than $12.9 billion.
“We have paused disbursements in our operations in Afghanistan and we are closely monitoring and assessing the situation in line with our internal policies and procedures,” Sanchez-Bender said.
The World Bank said it will continue to consult with the international community and development partners.
The International Monetary Fund suspended Afghanistan’s access to IMF resources, including around $440 million in new monetary reserves, due to a lack of clarity over the country’s government after the Taliban took control of Kabul, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The IMF’s announcement came amid pressure from the US Treasury, which holds a controlling share in the fund, to ensure that Afghanistan’s share of a Special Drawing Rights reserves allocation scheduled for Monday not fall into Taliban hands.
“There is currently a lack of clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government in Afghanistan, as a consequence of which the country cannot access SDRs or other IMF resources,” an IMF spokesperson said in an emailed statement as quoted by Reuters.
“As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community,” the spokesperson added.
According to the Reuters report, the fund has traditionally relied on its membership to decide whether to engage with governments that take power in coups or disputed elections.
Even if Afghanistan were to regain access to the SDRs, it would be unlikely the Taliban could spend those resources because that would require another country to be willing to exchange the SDRs for underlying currencies, a transaction that would likely be blocked by long-standing US financial sanctions against the Taliban, according to Reuters.
#AceNewsReport – Aug.26: CBP inspected 25 parcels to determine the admissibility of the contents. Officers seized a total of 26 badges all destined for locations across the U.S to include: Washington, Iowa, Kentucky, Florida, California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Texas, and Illinois. These shipments were all arriving from China and were sent by the same shipper from the previous week…
“These seizures are an example of the vigilance demonstrated by CBP officers every day at our nation’s international mail facilities and express consignment operation hubs,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago. “Finding these and ensuring dangerous criminals can’t use these badges for illegal activity is further proof of how CBP protects our nations communities.”
“It is hard to know what dangerous and illicit activity these badges could have been used for,” said Shane Campbell, Area Port Director – Chicago. “Criminals could have used these badges in a variety of ways, and all would have had horrific outcomes.”
CBP officers coordinate findings with CBP’s Fraudulent Document Analysis Unit, Homeland Security Investigations, and other federal partners to combat any illicit activity.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.11: In addition, lawyers were instructed to initiate actions leading to compensation for possible losses incurred as a result of the actions of the previous authorities.
‘Prosecutors representing the state as the claimant are ordered to pursue the case, ‘Mauricio Macri and others, fraud against state bodies’ … and to facilitate the advancement of the criminal process in order to determine those responsible for the crime,” the decree says’
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – #COVID19#pandemic has taken an extraordinary toll on the global economy and has strained financial liquidity. Global growth contracted 3.5% in 2020—the worst peace-time recession since the Great Depression—and will likely inflict long-term scars on the global economy
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned of a stark divergence in economic growth prospects for advanced economies versus low-income and developing countries. Overall, the IMF projects that 150 economies will have per-capita incomes below their 2019 levels in 2021.
An allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) would help build reserve buffers, smooth adjustments, and mitigate the risks of economic stagnation in global growth. Importantly, it could also enhance liquidity for low-income and developing countries to facilitate their much-needed health recovery efforts.
Containing the pandemic across the globe is paramount to a robust economic recovery. To this end, Treasury is working with IMF management and other members toward a $650 billion general allocation of SDRs to IMF member countries. Addressing the long-term global need for reserve assets would help support the global recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. A strong global recovery would also increase demand for U.S. exports of goods and services—creating U.S. jobs and supporting U.S. firms.
An SDR allocation is not a catch-all solution. It is part of a package of broader international efforts to support the global recovery. This package also includes robust support from the IMF, multilateral development banks, and debt relief in some cases—all alongside countries taking necessary reform steps. Bilateral assistance and debt relief under the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative and Common Framework, as well as financial support to the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility, all remain integral to help prevent long-term scarring from the pandemic and worsening global wealth divergence.
As part of our support for an SDR allocation, Treasury is working with the IMF and other member countries to maximize the benefits and limit the possible downsides of an allocation by enhancing transparency, accountability, and equitable burden sharing.
Below are some common questions about the nature and uses of SDRs and the mechanics of an SDR allocation. For more information on SDRs please see the IMF’s Factsheet available here.
Question: Is the Administration trying to bypass Congress in approving an SDR allocation?
Answer: As required by U.S. law, the Administration is consulting Congress on our proposed support for an SDR allocation. Under the Special Drawing Rights Act, Congress has authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to support an SDR allocation without additional legislation where the amount allocated to the United States does not exceed the current U.S. quota in the IMF in the applicable five-year basic period. The proposed SDR allocation is below this level.Based on current global liquidity conditions, Treasury does not support an additional SDR allocation beyond the proposed $650 billion at this time. Treasury would only consider an additional SDR allocation beyond the proposed $650 billion at some point in the future if circumstances justify it at that time.
Question:Does an SDR allocation impose a large financial burden on the United States?
Answer: An allocation itself imposes no direct cost on the United States. Based on a $650 billion allocation, the United States will receive about $113 billion in SDRs. The idea that an SDR allocation imposes a financial burden arises from potential exchanges of SDRs for U.S. dollars. If countries wish to sell their SDRs to the United States in exchange for dollars, Treasury would exchange SDRs for dollars held in the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF). The U.S. cash position would decline, and federal borrowing requirements would increase. However, the United States would also earn interest on the SDRs we purchased, largely (and perhaps entirely) offsetting any increase in Treasury’s borrowing costs. This is the case with our existing SDR resources, and the same process would occur with a new allocation. The differential between the SDR interest rate and the interest rate on Treasuries varies over time, so at times there is a small cost and at other times a small benefit to Treasury. This potential implicit cost is much lower than the benefits of a strong global recovery.
Question:Will the United States be required to exchange dollars for SDRs with any IMF member on demand?
Answer: Treasury has agreed to voluntarily purchase SDRs up to a certain level from other IMF members to promote an orderly system of exchange rates and to help provide liquidity support to our global partners. The United States retains the right to refuse to purchase SDRs from any country whose policies run counter to U.S. interests. Many large countries, such as most advanced economies and China, already hold excess SDRs and are very unlikely to request to exchange their new SDRs for hard currency.
Even if there is strong demand for dollars after the potential allocation, the United States is not alone in voluntarily agreeing to purchase SDRs. The IMF spreads the transactions across 32 members who have similar voluntary arrangements. We are working with the IMF to further ensure our potential transactions are proportional to others’ commitments.
Question:Is there a need for an SDR allocation to support global reserves?
Answer:In 2016, the IMF estimated the global reserves gap to be $430 billion to $1.4 trillion. This shortfall of international reserves is likely larger now. In addition, many low-income and developing countries remain constrained in their ability to issue debt in international markets, either to replenish reserves or to finance fiscal spending. Providing reserves will help prevent countries from engaging in FX purchases that could weaken their currencies and lead to a further buildup of the U.S. trade and current account deficits.
Question: Is there a need for an SDR allocation given the global economy is recovering?
Answer:After contracting 3.5% in 2020, the IMF projects a partial recovery in economic growth in 2021 of 5.5%. Yet, this recovery faces significant downside risks, is uneven, and will leave global output below the pre-crisis level over the medium term. Moreover, the global recession has strained central bank foreign exchange reserves in many countries. The proposed SDR allocation will help buffer reserves, supporting governments’ efforts to address the health and economic crises. Importantly, an SDR allocation will increase confidence and liquidity needed to promote a global recovery that benefits the American worker and U.S. economic growth.
Low-income and developing countries have been particularly hard hit in this crisis, and we face a critical window to prevent a permanent global divergence between rich and poor countries. The pandemic is expected to reverse the progress made in poverty reduction across the past two decades with close to 90 million people expected to fall below the extreme poverty threshold during 2020-21. Low-income countries have seen their real annual GDP growth decline by about 5% in 2020. The IMF estimates that low-income countries will need to deploy around $200 billion over the next five years just to fight the pandemic and an additional $250 billion to return to the path of catching up with advanced economies. The IMF forecasts the medium-term output losses for low-income countries will be about 6%, compared to 1% for advance economies. The proposed SDR allocation, by providing liquidity and potential fiscal space, could help low-income and developing countries finance vaccines and other COVID-19 related spending.
For more information see the IMF’s blog post on the pandemic’s legacy here.
Question: Is an SDR allocation a cash giveaway?
Answer: SDRs are neither money nor currency, but an international reserve asset. SDRs are allocated by the IMF and only to IMF members and a limited number of international institutions. SDRs cannot be exchanged by private entities, and all transactions involving SDRs must go through the IMF’s SDR Department. To use SDRs, a country must find an IMF member willing to provide a usable currency (generally, dollars, euros, or yen) in exchange for SDRs. The transaction is thus an exchange of assets. The country pays an interest rate to the IMF if their SDR holdings are below its allocation.
Question:Does an SDR allocation only benefit rich countries, as opposed to the countries that need it?
Answer: A $650 billion SDR allocation would provide about $21 billion worth of SDRs in liquidity support to low-income countries and about $212 billion to other emerging market and developing countries (excluding China), complementing existing multilateral efforts to assist countries in need. By comparison, the G20/Paris Club Debt Service Suspension Initiative has delivered about $5 billion in liquidity relief to more than 40 eligible countries as of March 2021. The IMF’s concessional lending provided about $13 billion in emergency financing in 2020.
We are working with our international partners to pursue ways for advanced economies to lend a portion of their SDR allocation to support low-income countries. For instance, during the current crisis, several countries have used part of their existing SDR holdings to expand the IMF’s concessional financing through loans to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust’s (PRGT). Total new PRGT loan resources mobilized since the start of the crisis amount to about $24 billion, of which about $15 billion is from existing SDRs.
Question:Is theretransparency and accountability in how SDRs are used?
Answer: The IMF already reports the SDR holdings of each of its members on a monthly basis. As part of our support for a new SDR allocation, Treasury is working with our international partners and the IMF on a number of initiatives to improve the transparency of SDR transactions and the effectiveness of how countries use SDRs. For example, the IMF could expand quarterly country-level data on SDR transactions, breaking out the transactions that occurred each quarter by major categories (e.g., IMF operations and exchanges with other SDR holders). Moreover, we are encouraging the IMF to publish an ex-ante guidance note on how countries could use and account for SDRs, consistent with macroeconomic and debt sustainability and good governance. We are also urging the IMF to conduct an ex-post review of the results two years after the allocation to describe the various uses. We are working closely with the IMF and other members to advance these initiatives.
Question: Is an SDR allocation a lifeline for dictators?
Answer: The United States retains the right to refuse to purchase SDRs from any countries that we choose, including those under U.S. sanction regimes, and we are working to coordinate with other countries to do the same. Because all IMF members receive an SDR allocation proportionate to their quota share, some countries whose policies the United States opposes will receive an SDR allocation. However, these countries will not necessarily be able to exchange their SDRs for hard currencies. First, the country’s authorities must be recognized by the IMF membership. Then, the country would need to find a willing country to provide them with hard currency in exchange for their SDRs. We are working to increase transparency around SDR exchanges.
Question: Will an SDR allocation put at risk the dollar’s reserve currency status?
Answer: The dollar currently makes up 57% of global reserves, while SDRs only make up 2%. After the proposed allocation, SDRs as a share of global reserves would only grow to around 7%, while dollars would comprise about 54%, more than three times the next most significant currency. Additionally, restrictions on who can hold and transact SDRs and the IMF’s role in clearing all SDR transactions significantly limits the ability of the SDR to function as a replacement for the dollars’ reserve currency status.
#AceWorldNews – CHINA – October 12 – China has surpassed the US in terms of GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP), becoming the largest in the world by this measure, International Monetary Fund estimates show.
‘ Chinese Purchasing Power Outstrips United States. Though United States has greater GDP’
In 2014 China reached $17.6 trillion or 16.48 percent of the world’s purchasing-power-adjusted GDP, while the US made slightly less, 16.28 percent or $17.4 trillion, the FT reported citing IMF data.
PPP is recognized as the best way to compare the size of economies rather than using volatile exchange rates, which rarely reflect the true cost of goods and services. Thus a trillion US dollars are worth a lot more in China than in the US.
On the purchasing power basis, China is overtaking the US right about now and becoming the world’s biggest economy, according to the forecast.
The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.
According to IMF estimates, in 2015 the gap between China and the US will increase to almost a trillion dollars: Chinese GDP PPP will amount to $19.23 trillion against $18.286 trillion in the US.
However in terms of a real GDP the United States remains the undisputed world leader with $16.8 trillion output, significantly outpacing China with $10.4 trillion.
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has basically said with all the sanctions on Russia, that Russia is now in a DEEP recession. Now if true, this will make it very hard for Russia to trade for War. Iran and others have been warned about trading with Russia. So, looks like these sanctions are biting hard! Facing an estimated £30 Million pound bill so far ($50 Million Dollars) this could push the Russian Republic to the brink of Civil war as people will start to go hungry and less medication and more. Links below as usual
Russia is “experiencing recession now” because of damage caused by the Ukraine crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. The fund, which cut its growth forecast for Russia, said $100bn (£59bn) would leave the country this year. Antonio Spilimbergo, the IMF’s mission chief in Moscow, said international sanctions were damaging the economy and threatening investment. Russia’s economy contracted in the first three months of this year. But Mr Spilimbergo said he expected that to continue.
“If you understand by recession two quarters of negative economic growth, then Russia is experiencing recession now,” he added. “The difficult situation and especially the uncertainty surrounding the geopolitical situation… and escalation of sanctions are weighing very negatively on the investment climate.” The IMF cut its 2014 growth forecast for Russia to 0.2% from 1.3% and said it expected the country’s economy to grow by only 1% next year. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has already cut Russia’s rating to one notch above “junk” status. And last week Russia’s central bank raised its key interest rate from 7% to 7.5% in an effort to defend the value of the rouble, which has lost more than 8% against the dollar so far this year.
IMF-Logo1Mr Spilimbergo said the interest rate rise would reduce the rate of inflation, but that it would not be enough to prevent consumer prices rising more than 6% in 2014. Russia itself has expressed concerns about investors moving money out of the country amid tensions and sanctions over its intervention in Ukraine. Its central bank said $64bn had left the country in the first quarter of the year – more than the capital outflows registered for the whole of 2013. The investor flight has partly been prompted by US and EU sanctionstargeting a number of Russian companies and high-profile business figures, including those close to President Vladimir Putin. The Russian government has retaliated with a warning that the sanctions could be damaging for Western energy firms. US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said the sanctions have so far caused “a quite substantial deterioration in Russia’s already weak economy”.
#AceWorldNews says that Seven countries “Group of Eight” in a joint statement condemned Russia’s position on Ukraine and announced that it was suspending participation in the preparations for the summit in Sochi.
“We note that the actions of Russia in Ukraine contrary to the principles and values on which the function G7 and G8.
Therefore, we decided to stop at the time of participation in activities to prepare for the summit scheduled for June in Sochi, until situation does not allow the “eight” to conduct meaningful discussions, “- said in a statement released by the White House on Monday.
The statement was signed by the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and USA, as well as the European Council and the European Commission.
Russia’s G8 partners also urged Moscow to solve the concerns of its security and human rights associated with what is happening in Ukraine, by direct negotiation in the presence of international observers or through the UN and the OSCE.
Authors of the statement stressed that Russia ready to help in these efforts.
In addition, the statement called on all parties to the conflict Ukrainian “behave very responsibly and with restraint and reduce tensions.”
It says ready to support Kiev in restoring unity, stability, political and economic well-being, as well as in the negotiations with the IMF.
On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Russia and all risks losing in G8, if not change its position on the Crimea.
“Russia may lose summit” Group of Eight “in Sochi. If the situation does not change, it is possible that even this country is excluded from the G8”, – he said in an interview with U.S. television channel NBC .
Kerry promised that the Russian authorities could face “the freezing of assets of Russian entrepreneurs, leaving American business from the Russian market.”
He also warned of the possibility of a further fall in the ruble. ”
“We’ll have to pay a huge price.
This is not a position of strength. If Russia wants to be a country of G8, it should behave as such – said the Secretary of State. – G8 plus some other countries – all of them are fully prepared expose Russia insulation for this intrusion, “- said U.S. Secretary of State.
#AceWorldNews says the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will send a fact-finding team to Ukraine over the next few days in response to the country’s request for financial support, the IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Thursday.
“This will enable the IMF to make its usual technical, independent assessment of the economic situation in Ukraine and, at the same time, begin to discuss with the authorities the policy reforms that could form the basis of a fund-supported program,” she said in a statement.
#AceWorldNews says (Reuters) – A Taliban suicide bomber and gunmen attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul, killing 21 people including three United Nations staff and the IMF’s top representative in Afghanistan.
Gunmen burst into the Lebanese restaurant spraying diners with bullets after the bomber blew himself up near the entrance around 7.30 p.m. on Friday, just as people sat down to dinner.
Thirteen foreigners were among those killed, according to police, and details about the victims began to trickle through on Saturday.
The U.S. embassy said on Twitter at least two U.S. private citizens were killed. Britain and Canada confirmed they each lost two nationals. Denmark said one of its citizens also died.
The American University of Afghanistan said two of its U.S. employees died in the attack on La Taverna du Liban, a popular dining spot whose charismatic owner, Kamal Hamade, was also killed.