International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries "working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world."[1] Formed in 1944, started on 27 December 1945,[7] at the Bretton Woods Conference primarily by the ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes,[8] it came into formal existence in 1945 with 29 member countries and the goal of reconstructing the international monetary system. It now plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises.[9] Countries contribute funds to a pool through a quota system from which countries experiencing balance of payments problems can borrow money. As of 2016, the fund had XDR 477 billion (about US$667 billion).[7]

International Monetary Fund
IMF Headquarters (Washington, DC)
AbbreviationIMF
Formation27 December 1945; 75 years ago (1945-12-27)
TypeInternational financial institution
PurposePromote international monetary co-operation, facilitate international trade, foster sustainable economic growth, reduce poverty around the world, make resources available to members experiencing balance of payments difficulties, prevent and assist with recovery from international financial crises[1]
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
Coordinates38°53′56″N 77°2′39″W
Region
Worldwide
Membership
188 countries (189 UN countries and Kosovo)[2]
Official language
English[3]
Managing Director
Kristalina Georgieva
Chief Economist
Gita Gopinath[4]
Main organ
Board of Governors
Parent organization
 United Nations[5][6]
Staff
2,400[1]
WebsiteIMF.org

Through the fund and other activities such as the gathering of statistics and analysis, surveillance of its members' economies, and the demand for particular policies,[10] the IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries.[11] The organization's objectives stated in the Articles of Agreement are:[12] to promote international monetary co-operation, international trade, high employment, exchange-rate stability, sustainable economic growth, and making resources available to member countries in financial difficulty.[13] IMF funds come from two major sources: quotas and loans. Quotas, which are pooled funds of member nations, generate most IMF funds. The size of a member's quota depends on its economic and financial importance in the world. Nations with greater economic significance have larger quotas. The quotas are increased periodically as a means of boosting the IMF's resources in the form of special drawing rights.[14]

The current managing director (MD) and Chairwoman of the IMF is Bulgarian economist Kristalina Georgieva, who has held the post since October 1, 2019.[15] Gita Gopinath was appointed as Chief Economist of IMF from 1 October 2018. Prior to her appointment at the IMF, Gopinath served as the economic adviser to the Chief Minister of Kerala, India.[16]