Message from the Managing Director
The past year has been a time of unexpected challenges for the international community. Amid the continued focus on spurring stronger and more inclusive growth and strengthening global cooperation, the IMF faced economic developments that required rapid adjustments.
First was the sudden, steep decline of oil prices. For most of our members, lower prices proved beneficial, supporting growth amid concerns about a new mediocre in the world economy. But oil producers faced difficult adjustments. These developments placed a premium on the IMF’s analytical work and policy advice.
The second challenge was posed by the Ebola pandemic in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. This outbreak was a matter of life and death, and the IMF moved quickly to ensure the three governments could respond to the crisis and get their economies moving again. The IMF provided more than $400 million of aid and debt relief, including by redesigning our disaster-response facility.
The third challenge during the past year was to assist several member countries addressing difficult economic and financial circumstances through IMF-supported programs. The IMF remains committed to helping these countries, along with all members, through this period of turmoil.
It was a year of innovation across the institution: pilot programs aimed at embedding in our country work the research on inclusive growth and gender that has been conducted in recent years; online training courses available to both officials and the wider public; the launch of a free data initiative; and cooperation with member countries on Islamic finance.
We continued to engage with our membership to implement the 2010 IMF quota and governance reforms as soon as possible. Our members reaffirmed the importance and urgency of these reforms for the IMF’s credibility, legitimacy, and effectiveness.
The year provided an opportunity to look back to the achievements of the past 25 years in eastern and central Europe, and to the 70th anniversary of the IMF. It also was a time to plan for the future by building on the achievements of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and supporting climate policy by getting energy prices right. In 2015 the international community will put in place the goals and policies aimed at reducing poverty and strengthening inclusive growth by 2030.
With the 2015 Annual Report, we highlight the IMF’s work in these and other areas with a new approach that blends essays and graphics. As always, the report emphasizes the work of the IMF’s Executive Board, whose policy guidance is central to the efforts to ensure global financial stability and growth.