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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was created near the end of World War II to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty.

Currently, the IMF has 188 member countries, including the United States. The IMF uses three tools to carry out its mission.  One of these tools is the employment of a number of economists to track the economic health of IMF member countries.  Once a year, the IMF provides each member country with an assessment of how that country is doing economically, with emphasis on policies that are contributing to the country’s stability and growth.

Another one of the IMF’s tools is the technical assistance and training it provides to its member countries to help them with their economic planning and policy.  The IMF is available to assist a country’s policymakers in planning sound fiscal policies; crafting economic, tax and financial legislation to implement those fiscal policies; managing the policies, and then monitoring the economy through statistical analysis.

The IMF’s third tool is providing financial support for member countries that are experiencing economic troubles, such as a large negative balance of payments.  This financial assistance is given on the condition that the member country implements the fiscal policies suggested by the IMF. 

The IMF reinforces all three of these functions by providing its members with financial and economic research and statistics they can use to monitor and improve their economies. 

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