Abstract

The IMF’s involvement in social issues has to be seen in the context of its mandate. The mandate, as laid down in its Articles of Agreement, is clear: (1) to promote international monetary cooperation; (2) to facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade, and to contribute thereby to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income; (3) to promote exchange stability and to maintain orderly exchange arrangements among members; (4) to assist in the establishment of a multilateral payments system; and (5) to give confidence to members by providing temporary financial resources to help them correct balance of payments disequilibria. Given this essentially macroeconomic mandate, the IMF’s contribution to social development is mainly indirect, and its role in social policy advice is necessarily limited. Nevertheless, the IMF’s involvement in social issues has evolved over time, drawing not only from its own experience but also from that of member countries and of other agencies.

Issues and Recent Experience
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