IMF concerned about the unrest in Haiti

Demonstrators take to the streets during a protest to demand the resignation of Haitian president Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, last year. (Photo: Reuters.com)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expressing concern about the socio‑political crisis in Haiti and stressed the urgency of restoring political and macroeconomic stability, addressing poverty and inequality, and tackling corruption.

The IMF executive board is also calling on all stakeholders to work toward a broad‑based national dialogue to address the country’s daunting challenges and realise the potential scope for much stronger and more inclusive growth.

New national plan

The board is encouraging continued close cooperation with donors and the Fund, including through technical assistance, and welcomed the Country Engagement Strategy as a basis for future Fund engagement.

The directors say severe fiscal constraints necessitate shifting scarce resources away from non‑priority spending toward social programmes and investment and underscored the importance of limiting monetary financing of fiscal deficits and preparing a national budget for the financial year 2020.

They are encouraging the authorities in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to focus on measures to boost domestic revenues and reduce exemptions in the near term while working to strengthen tax administration, prepare a resolution plan for budget arrears, and bolster public financial management.

But they have commended the authorities for progress on the new national plan for social protection and stressed the need to advance its approval and focus on a limited number of cash transfer programs.