Functions of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank

Subject: Finance
Pages: 2
Words: 488
Reading time:
2 min

Both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank perform important functions in the global economy. The IMF is charged with the responsibility of fostering global economic growth and stability. Also, the IMF provides financing and policy advice to members faced with economic difficulties. Also, the IMF collaborates with developing countries to help such countries alleviate poverty and achieve macroeconomic stability. The IMF also promotes exchange rate stability and international monetary cooperation. Moreover, the IMF facilitates international trade and operations, in addition to offering resources to members to reduce poverty and address the balance of payment difficulties. Economic surveillance enables the IMF to monitor the economic health of its members by providing them with crucial policy advice and warning them of possible risks on the horizon so that they can take remedial measures.

Through economic surveillance, The IMF is also able to monitor the economic health of various member countries. Besides, the IMF provides financial lending services to member countries faced with financial difficulties, in addition to training and offering them technical assistance to improve their economic management. The IMF, in conjunction with other organizations like the World Bank, the civil society and the media, works together in a bid to reduce global poverty and enhance global economic growth. On the other hand, the World Bank is an international financial institution charged with the responsibility of providing loans to developing nations to enable them to finance their capital programs. The official goal of the World Bank is to reduce poverty. It is also committed to promoting international trade, foreign investment, and facilitating capital investment.

Since the end of the Cold War period, the roles of both the IMF and the World Bank have remained controversial following claims that policymakers of the IMF supported military dictatorships allied to European and American Corporations. The IMF has also been described as a hostile and apathetic institution when it comes to dealing with issues of labor and human rights. These controversies have led to the emergence of the anti-globalization movement. Proponents of the IMF argue that economic stability is indicative of democracy. In contrast, critics point out at different examples of democratized nations that fell upon receiving IMF and World Bank loans.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding both the World Bank and the IMF as regards their functions. For example, the two institutions have in the past attracted controversy through their being linked to neoliberal globalization processes. Even as supporters contend that the two organizations have played a key role in expanding the global economy, on the other hand, critics opine that the two institutions are characterized by deepened global disparities, in addition to helping in the production of an intrinsically unstable financial; order. Fresh concerns as regards the role of economic governance of the two institutions also emerged in the wake of the recent global financial crisis, and this has resulted in calls for reforms.