News & Analysis: Monetary policy

Nigeria slumps back into recession as COVID-19 bites

“Africa’s biggest economy has sunk into its second recession in less than five years, battered by the oil price crash brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.”

via Financial Times

South Sudan’s central bank introduces monetary changes to rescue ailing economy

“Before the conflict and COVID-19, South Sudan was drilling more than 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day, which has now dropped to 180,000 barrels per day. In an extraordinary meeting, the Central Bank Monetary Policy Committee made five resolutions aimed at tackling the devaluation of crude oil.”

via AllAfrica

Gita Gopinath: ‘Global liquidity trap requires a big fiscal response’

“Policymakers have responded strongly, averting an even deeper recession. Monetary policy has and will remain central to this effort, but with the world in a global liquidity trap it is time for a global synchronised fiscal push to lift up prospects for all.”

via Financial Times

COVID-19 has increased hunger in South Africa. So what works best to improve access to food?

“South Africa’s expansion of social grants during lockdown was a good move — new evidence shows such cash transfers are effective in reducing food insecurity. But the country may need more of these and may also have to increase their amounts.”

via Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism

The Case for Cash Transfers—Beyond COVID-19—Gains Strength: New Data on Comparative Cost-Effectiveness

“Cash transfers can help replace lost income when work is disrupted by public health measures, economic contraction, or caregiving needs. Cash payments can also help stimulate local economic activity and can be relatively quickly deployed—particularly when compared to other forms of support.”

via Center for Global Development

Combining new and traditional mechanisms in Northern Kenya to cope during COVID-19

“The combination of a safety net provided by the government and the skills, agency, social capital and business networks developed through the Building Livelihoods programme has given beneficiaries a stronger asset base on which to survive. It has also enabled them to leverage opportunities to earn income, even in the current restricted environment.”

via FSD Kenya

Kenya enhances its cash transfer programmes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

“Whereas varied modes of interventions are experimented and deployed in response to COVID-19, there is a need to recognise that in an emergency like this, determining the level of vulnerability is a fluid undertaking. Furthermore, identifying whom to give cash transfers remains a challenge, considering for instance that those previously considered stable are now rendered vulnerable by the fact of losing their jobs and main sources of livelihood.”

via FSD Kenya

Kenya central bank has ‘plenty of firepower’, governor says

“Kenya’s central bank governor said on Thursday that policymakers still had plenty of firepower left to limit the damage to the country’s economy from the coronavirus crisis.”

via Reuters

COVID-19 sustains assault on battered regional currencies

“In recent weeks, regional currencies have come under increased pressure against the dollar as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to dismantle efforts by central banks to maintain stability and arrest negative impact on their economies. Depreciating currencies result in increased cost of living as prices of basic goods rise; and servicing of hard currency-dominated loans becomes expensive for institutional borrowers.”

via The East African

African banks adopt robust measures against lockdown losses

“Central and commercial banks across Africa are working together to increase liquidity and improve access to finance in an effort to keep the economies within which they operate functioning during the COVID-19 lockdown.”

via African Business Magazine