International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) promotes international financial stability and monetary cooperation. It also seeks to facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. The IMF has 188 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. The IMF is funded by a quota system where each country pays based on the size of its economy and its political importance in world trade and finance. When a country joins the organization, it usually pays a quarter of its quota in the form of U.S. dollars, euros, yen or pound sterling. The other three quarters can be paid in its own currency. Generally, these quotas are reviewed every five years. The IMF can use the quotas from the economically-sturdy countries to lend as aid to developing nations. The work of the IMF is of three main types. Surveillance involves the monitoring of economic and financial developments, and the provision of policy advice, aimed especially at crisis-prevention. The IMF also lends to countries with balance of payments difficulties, to provide temporary financing and to support policies aimed at correcting the underlying problems; loans to low-income countries are also aimed especially at poverty reduction. Third, the IMF provides countries with technical assistance and training in its areas of expertise. Supporting all three of these activities is IMF work in economic research and statistics. In recent years, as part of its efforts to strengthen the international financial system, and to enhance its effectiveness at preventing and resolving crises, the IMF has applied both its surveillance and technical assistance work to the development of standards and codes of good practice in its areas of...
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