Abstract

Countries that belong to the IMF can request a loan when they are experiencing balance of payments problems—when they cannot borrow sufficient financing on affordable terms in financial markets to make international payments. The IMF’s loans are available under a variety of policies and lending instruments tailored to the specific circumstances of different kinds of countries and problems. Most loans are conditional on borrowers implementing stabilization policies and reforms designed to address the country’s balance of payments problems and other economic weaknesses and promote sustainable economic growth. In low-income countries, IMF-supported policy programs focus particularly on the objectives of growth and poverty reduction. The conditions attached to Fund loans are also intended to ensure that the Fund is repaid, so that its resources become available for other countries in need. (The Fund’s instruments and associated programs are described in Table 5.1.)