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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper reviews the influence of the tropical climate on economic development. The paper highlights that the effect of climate is clearly not the only ruling constraint on economic development. It is claimed that climatic factors severely hamper development through their impact on both human beings and their agriculture. Human economic activity is directly and adversely affected through the widespread extent and impact of diseases; and tropical agriculture suffers in the quality of its soils, its rainfall, and its multiplicity of pests and diseases.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper describes the need for a new framework for international resource transfers. The paper highlights that the only international deal that presently exists on resource transfers is enshrined in the acceptance by the rich nations of a target of 1 percent of gross national product, with 0.7 percent as official development assistance on fairly concessional terms. However, the acceptance of this target by rich nations was grudgingly slow, and the actual performance has been most disappointing.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that the flow of IMF-related resources to member countries was maintained at a high level during 1979, amounting to the equivalent of SDR 6,917 million, compared with SDR 4,955 million in 1978. Some SDR 3.77 billion became available to non-oil developing countries in 1979. Repurchases in the General Resources Account by all members—at SDR 4.2 billion—exceeded their purchases of SDR 1.8 billion by an unprecedented SDR 2.4 billion. These large repurchases reflected the substantial improvement in the balance of payments of some industrial member countries that had large outstanding drawings.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper describes the origin of the IMF, its organization, and its method of working. The IMF has as its aim the economic prosperity of the whole world. The IMF pursues an active program of economic research. For this purpose, it systematically collects and publishes data on international trade, holdings of gold and foreign currencies, national income, price indices, restrictions on international payments, international movements of capital, and so on. All this is part of the background against which discussions of problems of individual members are carried out by the Executive Board.

Andrew M. Kamarck

This is the final article in our series commemorating the fortieth anniversary of Bretton Woods. Andrew Kamarck was with the World Bank for 28 years, holding a number of senior positions in the institution. Since retiring from the Bank, he has been Associate Fellow at the Harvard Institute of International Development. In this strictly personal perspective, he reflects about the Bank’s past efforts to promote development, including some of the obstacles it has faced, and the important role it has to play in the future.

Albert Waterston

This paper describes the technical improvement in developing countries. It highlights that developing countries have relied heavily for their industrial development upon foreign enterprises as sources of technology and management systems. The paper underscores that through direct investment or under licensing arrangements, foreign corporations have supplied a vast array of industrial products and equipment and have exercised a major role in the design and construction of processing and manufacturing facilities in newly industrializing countries.

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Leslie Lipschitz, and Mr. Thomas H. Mayer

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

M.M.M. van Gent

Agriculture is receiving increasing attention in economic development, and consulting services play an increasingly important part in its progress.

Bruce Fitzgerald

This paper reviews the World Bank lending for structural adjustment. The World Bank has always stressed the need to use limited investable resources efficiently. It has attempted to identify investment priorities in recipient countries and lent for projects that promised a high rate of return. The Bank’s Operational Manual defines structural adjustment lending as nonproject lending to support programs of policy and institutional change necessary to modify the structure of an economy so that it can maintain both its growth rate and the viability of its balance of payments in the medium term.