The central objective of the IMF’s operations in low-income countries is deep and lasting poverty reduction, which requires sustained economic growth and policies directed toward the needs of the poor. These are most likely to come about when, first, policies are sound, tailored to the needs and circumstances of individual countries, country-owned, and supported by strong institutions; and, second, when such national efforts are reinforced by a supportive global economic environment and international assistance. When these other conditions are in place, international assistance can be highly effective.