International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international financial institution of 184 member countries that is one of the Bretton Woods Institutions and is part of the United Nations system. It was established to promote international monetary cooperation, exchange stability and orderly exchange arrangements; to foster economic growth and high levels of employment; and to provide temporary financial assistance to countries to help ease balance of payments adjustment.
The IMF is, in effect, the lender of last resort for the world economy. It can and does make loans to its member countries when they need balance of payments support but it also makes its resources available for specific periods and activities. The amount of voting power a member country has depends on its contributions - the world's wealthiest countries therefore dominate decision-making.
An IMF programme is an adjustment programme supported under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, which replaced the Extended Structural Adjustment Facility in 1999.