The IMF is an international organization, consisting of 189 members (as of April 2018) that oversees the global financial system. Its headquarters are in Washington D.C.


Its objectives are to stabilize international exchange rates and facilitate the development of its member countries through liberal economic policies, debt relief and both technical and monetary aid. It aims to foster global cooperation to secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty.


The IMF was proposed in 1944 during a conference at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA, and established in December 1945, with the United Nations' then 29 countries as members, to assist the reconstruction of the world's postwar international monetary system.


Changes in the world economy require the IMF to be pliable in its methods to enable it to serve its purposes effectively.


Because its financial aid is always bound to so-called 'conditionalities', some economists allege that the IMF retards social stability in a country receiving its aid.


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