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Section Notes

The IMF’s Key Roles

The IMF focuses on three main roles:

Economic Surveillance

Provide advice to members on adopting policies that can help them achieve macroeconomic stability, thereby accelerating economic growth and alleviating poverty.


Make financing temporarily available to member countries to help them address balance-of-payments problems, which include circumstances in which they find themselves short of foreign exchange because their external payments exceed their foreign exchange earnings.

Capacity Development

Offer technical assistance and training to countries, at their request, to help them build and strengthen the expertise and institutions they need to implement sound economic policies. The IMF is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and, reflecting its global reach and close ties with its members, also has offices around the world. Additional information on the IMF and its member countries can be found on the IMF’s website,

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