International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization established at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 in an effort to help rebuild the world’s payment system following the economic turmoil of World War II. It functions by member countries (initially 29 nations, now 188) contributing money to a pool from which countries in economic need can borrow temporarily when they are unable to make repayments. These loans often come with the condition that the recipient government make policy changes, called structural adjustment, to stabilize its economy. Structural adjustment can include reforms such as austerity measures, devaluation of currencies, trade liberalization, balancing budgets, removing price controls, privatization, enhancing rights of foreign investors and fighting corruption within the government. The stated goals of the IMF are to promote international trade and economic cooperation, increase employment and stabilize exchange rates.There are many ways it aims to achieve these objectives, for example, by giving policy advice and finance to countries with economic problems as well as working with developing nations to help them stabilize their economic systems.

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