Accurate and up-to-date information on the work of the IMF has been in high demand throughout the economic crisis. Our factsheets are a popular outreach tool, with over a million internet "visits" a year. The factsheets provide a web-friendly, plain-English explanation of the work of the IMF on the issues of most importance to our key stakeholders as well as to those developing an interest in our work.

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October 13, 2017

Review of the Special Drawing Right (SDR) Currency Basket

The Review of the Method of Valuation of the Special Drawing Right (SDR) basket is conducted every five years by the IMF’s Executive Board, or earlier if warranted by developments. The purpose of the review is to ensure that the SDR basket reflects the relative importance of major currencies in the world’s trading and financial systems, with a view to enhancing the SDR’s attractiveness as an international reserve asset. The latest review was completed on November 30, 2015.

October 12, 2017

IMF Stand-By Arrangement

In an economic crisis, countries often need financing to help them overcome their balance of payments problems. Since its creation in June 1952, the IMF’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) has been used time and again by member countries, and it is the IMF’s workhorse lending instrument for emerging and advanced market countries. The SBA was upgraded in 2009 along with the Fund’s broader toolkit to be more flexible and responsive to member countries’ needs. Conditions were streamlined and simplified, and more funds were made available up front, as borrowing limits were doubled in response to the global financial crisis. These limits were increased further in 2016. The new framework also enables broader high-access borrowing on a precautionary basis.

October 11, 2017

IMF Regional Capacity Development Initiatives


The IMF has an extensive network of regional capacity development centers (RCDCs) and training programs that helps implement its capacity development mandate in its member countries. These regional centers facilitate an enhanced ability to respond quickly to emerging needs, ensure close coordination with other development partners on the ground, and better tailor advice and training. The regional centers are financed by member and host countries, external development partners, and the IMF; their activities are complemented by the thematic funds managed by the IMF.

October 11, 2017

The Joint World Bank-IMF Debt Sustainability Framework for Low-Income Countries

Low-income countries (LICs) have often struggled with large external debts. The IMF and the World Bank have developed a framework to help guide countries and donors in mobilizing the financing of LICs' development needs, while reducing the chances of an excessive build-up of debt in the future. The Debt Sustainability Framework (DSF) was introduced in April 2005 and is periodically reviewed. The current framework was reviewed in 2012 and a new framework was formally discussed in September 2017, which will be implemented during the second half of 2018.

October 10, 2017

The IMF and Good Governance

The IMF places great emphasis on promoting good governance when providing policy advice, financial support, and technical assistance to its member countries. The IMF also has measures in place to ensure integrity, impartiality, and honesty in the discharge of its own professional obligations.

October 10, 2017

Strengthening Surveillance—Lessons from the Financial Crisis

In recent years, the IMF has undertaken major initiatives to strengthen surveillance to respond to a more globalized and interconnected world. These initiatives include revamping the legal framework for surveillance, deepening analysis of risks and spillovers, strengthening financial surveillance of systemic risk, stepping up assessments of members’ external positions, and responding more promptly to concerns of the membership. The 2014 Triennial Surveillance Review, furthering initiatives launched in the 2011 Review, proposed steps to strengthen implementation of reforms in these areas, and also to ensure that surveillance is well-equipped to address emerging challenges and support sustainable growth in an interconnected post-crisis world. This factsheet outlines recent actions in priority areas.

October 9, 2017

IMF Capacity Development

The IMF’s capacity development (CD) work is part of its core mandate, along with tracking global economic developments, providing policy advice, and lending to countries that experience balance of payment crises. It comprises economic institution building (technical assistance) and related human capacity development (training) to help governments build effective policies and institutions. The IMF’s CD efforts help countries strengthen their economies, improve inclusive growth and create jobs.