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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

In 2004, the year the IMF marked its 60th anniversary, its Managing Director, Rodrigo de Rato, initiated a broad strategic review of the organization’s operations. A management-staff Committee on the Strategic Review, chaired by First Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger, was set up, and discussions were held between staff, management, and the Executive Board, as well as with country authorities and outside observers. In September 2005, the Managing Director presented a report1 outlining proposals for a Medium-Term Strategy (MTS) to the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the primary advisory committee of the Fund’s Board of Governors, after it had been broadly endorsed by the Executive Board. This report suggested that a central tenet of the Fund’s work should be to help members meet the challenges of globalization. Using that framework, the report identified the Fund’s key tasks as enhancing the effectiveness of surveillance, adapting to new challenges and needs in different member countries, helping member countries build institutions and capacity, addressing the issue of fair quotas and voice, and prioritizing and reorganizing work within a prudent medium-term budget. The IMFC welcomed and supported the broad priorities set forth in the report, and looked forward to specific proposals and timelines on the main tasks identified.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

During the financial year, the IMF made progress with a range of reforms that followed up on the 2004 Biennial Surveillance Review.1 It sharpened the focus of surveillance, deepened its coverage of exchange rate and financial sector issues, improved its analysis of debt sustain-ability and balance sheet vulnerabilities, paid greater attention to the possibility of regional and global spillovers (see Chapter 3), and enhanced surveillance in low-income countries (Chapter 6). Many of these steps were given added impetus by the Fund’s Medium-Term Strategy (Chapter 2), which was discussed by the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) at its April 2006 meeting. In its communiqué of April 22, 2006, the IMFC reiterated the importance of making IMF surveillance more effective (see Appendix IV for the full text of the communiqué).

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The IMF’s 2006 financial year (FY), the period covered by this Annual Report, was significant, as it marked an important turning point in the way the Fund carries out its mandate. The medium-term strategic review set in motion in 2004 by the Managing Director, Rodrigo de Rato, was completed and given broad endorsement by the Fund’s Executive Board and subsequently by the ministerial-level International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), which requested that the Fund move rapidly to implementation. As a result, the IMF embarked on some far-reaching changes in its operations and governance.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Countries that belong to the IMF can request a loan when they are experiencing balance of payments problems—when they cannot borrow sufficient financing on affordable terms in financial markets to make international payments. The IMF’s loans are available under a variety of policies and lending instruments tailored to the specific circumstances of different kinds of countries and problems. Most loans are conditional on borrowers implementing stabilization policies and reforms designed to address the country’s balance of payments problems and other economic weaknesses and promote sustainable economic growth. In low-income countries, IMF-supported policy programs focus particularly on the objectives of growth and poverty reduction. The conditions attached to Fund loans are also intended to ensure that the Fund is repaid, so that its resources become available for other countries in need. (The Fund’s instruments and associated programs are described in Table 5.1.)

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The IMF plays a vital role in the international community’s efforts to help low-income countries (which constitute 42 percent of its membership) achieve faster economic growth and poverty reduction. The Fund’s chief contributions are promoting macroeconomic and financial stability—a precondition for growth and poverty reduction—in these countries by providing policy advice, loans (typically under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility), and technical assistance, and promoting a healthy global economy from which these countries can benefit. It also participates in debt relief efforts, mainly through the joint IMF–World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative; during FY2006, it also participated in the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI; see Box 6.1)—its contribution was approved by the IMF’s Board in November 2005.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The IMF complements its surveillance operations and its lending in support of member countries’ policy programs with technical assistance and training. The goal is to help member countries strengthen their human and institutional capacity to design and implement and structural policies that promote macroeconomic and financial stability, economic growth, and poverty reduction.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

In accordance with Article IV of its Articles of Agreement, the IMF oversees the international monetary system to ensure its effective operation. The Fund also oversees that each member country complies with its obligations under Article IV “to collaborate with the Fund and other members to assure orderly exchange arrangements and to promote a stable system of exchange rates.” The Fund discharges these responsibilities partly by monitoring economic developments and policies in its 184 member countries and the economic policies pursued under regional arrangements or currency unions. The Fund also monitors economic and financial developments at the global level. The Fund’s oversight of policies and economic developments at the global, country, and regional levels is known as surveillance.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The Annual Report 2006 to the Board of Governors reviews the IMF’s activities and policies during the financial year (May 1, 2005, through April 30, 2006). The main sections cover the Fund’s Medium-Term Strategy; country, global, and regional surveillance; strengthening surveillance and crisis prevention; IMF program support and crisis resolution; the Fund’s role in low-income countries; technical assistance and training; financial operations and policies; and governance and management of the IMF. Besides the full financial statements for the year, appendixes cover international reserves, financial operations and transactions, principal policy decisions, press communiqués of advisory committees, Executive Directors and their voting power, and changes in the Executive Board’s membership.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The IMF is accountable to its Board of Governors and thus to the governments of its 184 member countries, which, in collaboration with its management, decide on its policies, operations, and work program for each year (see Boxes 9.1 and 9.2 on how the IMF is run).