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The ABCs of the IFIs

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The U.S. Role in Shaping Effective International Financial Institution for the 21st Century

The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are major sources of financial and technical support for developing countries and play a critical role in promoting economic development and global stability. During the 2008­–09 global financial crisis, the IMF and World Bank were central in helping middle- and low-income countries cope with the crisis and aided the economic recovery in high-income countries. As global integration increasingly links the interests of high-income and developing countries, the role of the IFIs becomes ever more prominent.

In the coming years, there will be a number of major decisions pertaining to the financing, governance, and the U.S. role in the IFIs.  The World Bank and the four regional development banks for Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America are proposing to increase their capital base through an unprecedented simultaneous general capital increase.  And the unexpected leadership succession at the IMF in 2011 reignited discussions over IFI governance and leadership selection processes, drawing attention to the changing landscape in global economic power and creating fresh impetus for reform.

The United States and other nations have a common interest in ensuring the IFIs are both well managed and well funded.  This suite of policy briefs provides basic background information and practical analysis of the financial and governance issues facing the IFIs to help inform the debate and discussion.

CGD is grateful for contributions from the Connect U.S. Fund in support of this work

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