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MEFMI Regional Workshop on Operational Risk Management

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for developing countries to adopt and implement robust operational risk management tools and frameworks in all areas of macroeconomic management, including public debt. Operational risk is defined as “the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems or from external events” (BIS, 2003). Following the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019 and the adoption of travel restrictions by countries, most debt management functions and operations were put on hold or partially implemented as staff worked from home. These measures limited the debt managers’ access to debt management systems to record transactions, process debt payments, and validate debt data. In some countries, auctions of domestic securities were affected and analytical work such as debt sustainability analysis could not be conducted. The absence of business continuity plans created a significant risk to effective public debt management in most countries.

Against this background, MEFMI will conduct a workshop on Operational Risk Management to help member counties deal with disruptions in debt management operations, which may occur due to unforeseen events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop will provide a practical step-by-step process of developing business continuity plans.