Abstract

The creation of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) in late 1999 represented the culmination of more than two years of internal and external reviews and IMF policy discussions on the assessment and transformation of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) (Box 1). At the time the PRGF was instituted, it was envisaged that there would be some far-reaching changes in the way the IMF worked to support low-income member countries. First, there would be a change in the content of IMF-supported programs in these countries—the programs would be more pro-poor and pro-growth. Second, there would be an increased emphasis on country ownership of PRGF-supported programs. And third, there would be a better definition of the IMF’s role and relationship with other agencies supporting the development efforts of low-income countries. Although much of the structure for the anticipated changes was embedded in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) process, specific expectations for PRGF-supported programs were laid out in the Key Features of Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF)-Supported Programs document (Box 2), which was issued in August 2000 after extensive internal and external consultation.