H.E. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, participated in the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting, which took place virtually on 15 October 2020.
During his speech, which he gave on behalf of the countries of the IMF’s Arab Group, H.E. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer praised the continued efforts by the Fund to respond to member’s exceptional needs in the face of an unprecedented shock. H.E. noted that Arab countries have taken a broad range of policy actions, specific to each country’s conditions and outcomes.
H.E. indicated that the size of the fiscal stimulus was modest in the Arab region in view of the stronger health systems in some countries, and the constrained fiscal scope in others. H.E. noted that macro-financial measures, including liquidity support were more widely used, and that Arab countries will continue with exceptional measures so long as required and will adjust them or roll them back as appropriate.
H.E. said: “Despite all the precautionary measures that have been taken, Arab countries still face a heightened degree of uncertainty. The Fund should be prepared for a potentially prolonged downturn, a possible second wave of infections, and second round of financial tightening, which could severely limit countries’ access to finance.”
During the meeting H.E. emphasized a few points such as highlighting the fact that exceptional times demand exceptional responses, including access to IMF facilities or further modification of existing facilities. H.E. also added that the Fund should do its utmost to support those countries that requested financial support but have not yet received it – noting that this calls for more flexibility, which may entail higher risks, but with appropriate safeguards. H.E. noted that such safeguards must not be too onerous on countries that they prevent access to Fund resources.
H.E. said: “It is imperative for us all to work together to help vulnerable countries to attain access to vaccines and treatment and to meet their financing needs. The IMF should continue to support Arab countries’ efforts to tackle rising debt vulnerabilities caused by this pandemic.”
H.E. added: “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of buffers and resilience, including taking advantage of new technologies and digital solutions as a way toward more inclusive growth.”
IMFC meetings are held within the IMF and WBG annual spring meetings. Advice and reports are provided to the IMF Board of Governors on the supervision and management of the international monetary and financial system, including on responses to unfolding events that may disrupt the system.
© Press Release 2020