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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.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper discusses quantitative indicators that measure such macroeconomic variables as the growth of national product, inflation. The importance of considering several indicators in a dynamic context becomes particularly relevant during periods when needed economic and financial adjustment measures are undertaken. Rationales given for maintaining negative real interest rates in developing countries range from keeping down the cost of servicing the public sector’s debt, or of investment, to avoiding the consequences of other policies.
Ms. Jacqueline T Irving

“The United States and other donor nations should provide substantially greater economic assistance on terms that are more flexible and responsive to the priorities set by Africans themselves,” urged Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and former head of the African National Congress, on May 16 at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Robert Hecht, Amie Batson, and Logan Brenzel

This paper presents a snapshot of changes in the world’s health and demographic conditions. The paper highlights that in most parts of the world, individuals are healthier and living longer, thanks to improved health services and living conditions and the more widespread use of immunization, antibiotics, and better contraceptives. Although this trend is likely to continue, hopes are fading in some regions where progress slowed or stopped in the 1990s, primarily as a result of the AIDS epidemic. Moreover, most regions of the developing world will not reach the Millennium Development Goals for health by 2015.

Mr. Axel Palmason

On June 25–27, the United Nations (UN) convened a special session of its General Assembly to address a pandemic that, in 2000 alone, increased the number of people living with HIV/AIDS by 5.3 million. The high-profile session concluded with a commitment by UN member governments to increase annual expenditures on HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries to reach a target of between $7 billion and $10 billion. The General Assembly also supported the establishment, on an urgent basis, of a global HIV/AIDS and health fund to finance an integrated approach to preventing and treating HIV/AIDS. To raise resources for this effort and to increase public awareness of the dimensions of the problem, the General Assembly also committed itself to vigorous initiatives to rally public and private contributions and to address the pandemic forthrightly.