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Key Players in Development: Part 2


- World Bank




- Regional Banks

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)


At a glance


The IMF aims to ensure stability of the international monetary and financial system, build international monetary cooperation and promote economic growth and alleviate poverty.

Role and function


The IMF has 183 member states and it aims to meet its objectives of economic stability and growth in three ways: surveillance which includes an in-depth appraisal of each member country's economic situation through a process of dialogue; technical assistance and training in areas such as fiscal policy, monetary and exchange rate policies, banking and financial regulation – targeted mainly at low income countries in sub-Saharan Africa; and financial assistance – provided to member countries experiencing balance of payments problems.

The IMF also works to reduce poverty both independently and in collaboration with the World Bank and other organisations.

The IMF operates a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) that provides low-interest lending to poor countries combined with poverty reduction strategies.

In most low-income countries, this is underpinned by Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) that are prepared with the participation of domestic stakeholders, external development partners, the IMF and the World Bank. A PRSP describes the economic and social policies and programs that a country has agreed to undertake over several years to promote growth and reduce poverty.

The IMF, in conjunction with the World Bank, also operates the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) that offers debt relief in return for agreed IMF and World Bank sponsored economic adjustment programmes.

What the IMF says about the MDGs


"There [is] an urgent need to scale up efforts if the MDGs are to be met and… this [will] require enhanced, concerted actions on the parts of both developing and developed countries and the international institutions.

Developing countries will have to sustain their efforts to strengthen policies and governance so as to ensure that domestic resources, private inflows, and aid can be used effectively in spurring growth, improving service delivery, and reducing poverty.

Developed countries will need to move vigorously in supporting these efforts with more and better aid, debt relief, and improved market access… We urge that countries, without delay, take specific steps to meet their commitments to provide additional aid resources by 2006."

Related links:
HIPC – the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative
Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF)
Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Website: A Better World for All
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