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About the IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 186 countries, working to foster
global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote
high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.
Overview
The IMF works to foster global growth and economic stability. It provides policy advice and
financing to members in economic difficulties and also works with developing nations to help
them achieve macroeconomic stability and reduce poverty.
What we do: The IMF promotes international monetary cooperation and exchange rate
stability, facilitates the balanced growth of international trade, and provides resources to help
members in balance of payments difficulties or to assist with poverty reduction.
Membership: The IMF has 186 member countries. It is a specialized agency of the United
Nations but has its own charter, governing structure, and finances. Its members are
represented through a quota system broadly based on their relative size in the global
economy.
How we do it: Through its economic surveillance, the IMF keeps track of the economic health
of its member countries, alerting them to risks on the horizon and providing policy advice. It
also lends to countries in difficulty, and provides technical assistance and training to help
countries improve economic management. This work is backed by IMF research and statistics.
Collaborating with others: The IMF works with other international organizations to promote
growth and poverty reduction. It also interacts with think tanks, civil society, and the media
on a daily basis.
History
The IMF has played a part in shaping the global economy since the end of World War II.
Cooperation and reconstruction (1944–71): As the Second World War ends, the job of
rebuilding national economies begins. The IMF is charged with overseeing the international
monetary system to ensure exchange rate stability and encouraging members to eliminate
exchange restrictions that hinder trade.
The end of the Bretton Woods System (1972–81): After the system of fixed exchange rates
collapses in 1971, countries are free to choose their exchange arrangement. Oil shocks occur
in 1973–74 and 1979, and the IMF steps in to help countries deal with the consequences.
Debt and painful reforms (1982–89): The oil shocks lead to an international debt crisis, and
the IMF assists in coordinating the global response.
Societal Change for Eastern Europe and Asian Upheaval (1990–2004): The IMF plays a central
role in helping the countries of the former Soviet bloc transition from central planning to
market-driven economies.
Globalization and the Crisis (2005 - present): The implications of the continued rise of capital
flows for economic policy and the stability of the international financial system are still not
entirely clear. The current credit crisis and the food and oil price shock are clear signs that
new challenges for the IMF are waiting just around the corner.
Organization & Finances
The IMF has a management team and 17 departments that carry out its country, policy,
analytical, and technical work. One department is charged with managing the IMF's resources.
This section also explains where the IMF gets its resources and how they are used.
Management: The IMF has a Managing Director, who is head of the staff and Chairman of the
Executive Board. He is assisted by a First Deputy Managing Director and two other Deputy
Managing Directors.
Staff of international civil servants: The IMF's employees come from all over the world; they
are responsible to the IMF and not to the authorities of the countries of which they are
citizens. The IMF staff is organized mainly into area; functional; and information, liaison, and
support responsibilities.
Quotas: The IMF's resources come mainly from the money that countries pay as their capital
subscription when they become
members.
Special Drawing Rights: The IMF's resources come mainly from the money that countries pay
as their capital subscription when they become members.
Gold: The IMF also has some of the largest official holders of gold in the world.
World Bank: About Us
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries
around the world. Our mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting
results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources,
sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private
sectors.
We are not a bank in the common sense; we are made up of two unique development
institutions owned by 186 member countries: the International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).
Each institution plays a different but collaborative role in advancing the vision of inclusive and
sustainable globalization. The IBRD aims to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy
poorer countries, while IDA focuses on the world's poorest countries.
Their work is complemented by that of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral
Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for the Settlement of
Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Together, we provide low-interest loans, interest-free credits and grants to developing
countries for a wide array of purposes that include investments in education, health, public
administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and
environmental and natural resource management.
The World Bank, established in 1944, is headquartered in Washington, D.C. We have more
than 10,000 employees in more than 100 offices worldwide.