The IMF’s Role in Low-Income Countries: Issues and Challenges

Domenico Lombardi
Domenico Lombardi Director, Policy Observatory - Luiss University, Rome, Former Brookings Expert

September 1, 2005


Drawing on recent research, this study elaborates on the role of the IMF in support of its low-income members, pointing to the global character of the institution and to its superior ability—given its multilateral nature—to serve as a financial institution, an information provider, and a commitment device. The IMF assists low-income members through a range of activities that are normally bundled together, including lending, offering policy advice, and providing assistance with capacity building. The study reviews the features of IMF policies towards its low-income membership and points to the main challenges to their success.