International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank’s sister organization, provides oversight of the world’s economic and financial systems, acts as the lender of last resort for economies facing severe balance of payment difficulties, and provides technical standards and advice. In the 1990s, the IMF was criticized for its dogmatic adherence to the ‘Washington Consensus’, a policy package that enforced measures to achieve macroeconomic stability, privatization, trade liberalization, and public sector contraction on developing countries through loan conditionality. In many cases, the side effects of such policies were to reduce health services and affect health outcomes in already low health spending in poor nations. IMF now works with low-income countries to help them protect spending on health and education. It also advises on the financing of HIV and AIDS programmes.