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International Organisations  

The International Monetary Fund - The World Trade Organisation - The European Union

The International Monetary Fund

IMF logo The IMF is an international organisation which lends money to countries which need to borrow it. Its headquarters are in Washington DC, USA.

Brief history
Advantages and disadvantages
How it works

Brief history

The IMF was set up at a conference in 1944. Representatives of 45 countries met to discuss how to avoid the problems caused by the economic depression of the 1930s. They wanted more international financial co-operation.

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Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages – the main advantages of the IMF are seen as ... Disadvantages – against this, some people think ...

It promotes international monetary co-operation and global financial stability.

It provides temporary financial help to countries in debt – particularly those with balance-of-payments problems.

It encourages economic growth.

It gives financial advice to countries about how to run their economies.

Decisions about which countries may borrow money are made by rich countries. Poor countries have little say about loans and the conditions attached to them.

The IMF will only lend money to countries if they agree to certain conditions. These conditions increase poverty.

The livelihoods of people in poorer countries are destroyed by unfair competition from foreign goods and services.

The IMF does not give good financial advice. Countries have suffered by following it.

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How it works

The IMF exists primarily to assist countries in economic difficulties. The IMF may lend money to such countries. However, it imposes strict conditions on countries to which it lends money. These may include a requirement that the country's government remove any barriers to free trade, including tariffs and quotas, and subsidies to any sector of industry, including farm-support subsidies.
Decisions, decisions ...
  • How are decisions taken?
  • Are all member countries given an
          equal say?
  • Do ordinary people have a voice?
  • Can you have a say?
  • Click on the diagram below to find out more.

    IMF interactive diagram Board of Governors Executive Board International Monetary and Financial Committee

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    The International Monetary Fund - The World Trade Organisation - The European Union
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