The IMF's Executive Board has agreed on the Fund's priorities for the period leading up to the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings in April 2009, putting the focus on tackling the fallout from the global financial crisis and the longer-term challenges it has exposed.
This work program is in line with requests from the International Monetary and Financial Committee (known as the IMFC, the IMF's policy-steering committee) and the Group of Twenty leading industrialized and emerging market countries (G-20).
A main focus of the IMF's efforts will be to ensure continued financial support and policy advice for the growing number of countries that are buckling under the strains of the financial crisis. But the IMF will also devote significant resources to understanding the causes of the financial crisis and identifying reforms needed to improve the international financial architecture.
The discussion of the IMF's short-term priorities takes place against the backdrop of a worsening economy. In its latest assessment of the global economy, the IMF cut its forecast for global growth by ¾ percentage point to 2.2 percent for 2009. A growing number of countries are seeking financial assistance from the Fund, and new loans worth a total of US$40 billion have been approved in record time for Ukraine, Iceland, Pakistan, and Hungary.