The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative think tank based in Washington, D. C. geared towards public policy. The foundation took a leading role in the conservative movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose policies were taken from Heritage's policy study Mandate for Leadership. Heritage has since continued to have a significant influence in U. S. public policy making, is considered to be one of the most influential conservative research organizations in the United States. The Heritage Foundation was founded on February 16, 1973 by Paul Weyrich, Edwin Feulner, Joseph Coors. Growing out of the new business activist movement inspired by the Powell Memorandum, discontent with Richard Nixon's embrace of the "liberal consensus" and the nonpolemical, cautious nature of existing think tanks and Feulner sought to create a version of the Brookings Institution that advanced conservative activism. Coors was the primary funder of the Heritage Foundation in its early years. Weyrich was its first president.
Under president Frank J. Walton, the Heritage Foundation began using direct mail fundraising and Heritage's annual income grew to $1 million per year in 1976. By 1981, the annual budget grew to $5.3 million. Heritage advocated for pro-business policies, anti-communism and neoconservatism in its early years, but distinguished itself from the conservative American Enterprise Institute by advocating for Christian conservatism. Through the 1970s, Heritage would remain small relative to Brookings and the AEI. In January 1981 Heritage published the Mandate for Leadership, a comprehensive report aimed at reducing the size of the federal government, providing public policy guidance to the incoming Reagan administration, including more than 2,000 specific suggestions to move the federal government in a conservative direction; the report was well received by the White House, several of its authors went on to take positions in the Reagan administration. Reagan liked the ideas so much. 60% of the 2,000 proposals were implemented or initiated by the end of Reagan's first year in office.
Ronald Reagan on said that the Heritage Foundation played a "vital force" in the successes during his presidency. Heritage was influential in developing and advancing of the so-called "Reagan Doctrine," a Reagan administration foreign policy initiative in which the U. S. provided military and other support to anti-communist resistance movements fighting Soviet-aligned governments in Afghanistan, Cambodia and other nations during the final years of the Cold War. Heritage advocated the development of new ballistic missile defense systems for the United States. Reagan adopted this as his top defense priority in 1983, calling it the Strategic Defense Initiative. By mid-decade, The Heritage Foundation had emerged as a key organization in the national conservative movement, publishing influential reports on domestic and defense issues, as well as pieces by prominent conservative figures, such as Bob Dole and Pat Robertson. In 1986, Time called Heritage "the foremost of the new breed of advocacy tanks".
During the Reagan and Bush administrations, The Heritage Foundation served as the President's brain trust on foreign policy. The Heritage Foundation remained an influential voice on domestic and foreign policy issues during President George H. W. Bush's administration, it was a leading proponent of Operation Desert Storm against Iraq, – according to Frank Starr, head of the Baltimore Sun's Washington bureau – the foundation's studies "laid much of the groundwork for Bush administration thinking" about post-Soviet foreign policy. In domestic policy, the Bush administration agreed with six of the ten budget reforms contained in Mandate for Leadership III and included them in their 1990 budget proposal. Heritage became involved in the culture wars of the 1990s with the publication of "The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators" by William Bennett; the Index documented how crime, divorce, teenage suicide, drug use and fourteen other social indicators had become measurably worse since the 1960s. Heritage continued to grow throughout the 1990s and its journal, Policy Review, hit an all-time-high circulation of 23,000.
Heritage was an opponent of the Clinton health care plan of 1993. President Clinton's welfare reforms were analogous with Heritage's recommendations and were adopted in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. In 1995, Heritage published the first Index of Economic Freedom, co-authored by policy analyst Bryan T. Johnson and Thomas P. Sheehy. In 1997, the Index became a joint project between the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. In 1994, Heritage advised Newt Gingrich and other conservatives on the development of the "Contract with America", credited with helping to produce a Republican majority in Congress; the "Contract" was a pact of principles that directly challenged both the political status-quo in Washington and many of the ideas at the heart of the Clinton administration. In 2005, The Washington Post criticized the Heritage Foundation for softening its criticism of Malaysia following a business relationship between Heritage's president and Malaysia's then-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
The Heritage Foundation denied any conflict of interest, stating its views on Malaysia changed following the country's cooperation with the U. S. after the September 11 attacks in 2001, changes by Malaysia "moving in the right economic and political direction." In December 2012, an announcement was made that Senator Jim DeMint would resign from the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation. Pundits predicted his tenure would bring a sharper, more politicized edge to the Foundati
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders known under its original name Reporters Sans Frontières, is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Paris that conducts political advocacy on issues relating to freedom of information and freedom of the press. Reporters Without Borders has two primary spheres of activity: one is focused on Internet censorship and the new media, the other on providing material and psychological assistance to journalists assigned to dangerous areas, its missions are to continuously monitor attacks on freedom of information worldwide, denounce any such attacks in the media, act in cooperation with governments to fight censorship and laws aimed at restricting freedom of information and financially assist persecuted journalists, as well as their families and offer material assistance to war correspondents in order to enhance their safety. Reporters Without Borders was founded in 1985 by Robert Ménard, Rémy Loury, Jacques Molénat and Émilien Jubineau, in Montpellier, France.
Its head office is in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. RWB maintains offices in Berlin, Geneva, Rome, Tunis and Washington, D. C, their first office in Asia, located in Taipei, Taiwan opened in July 2017. Taiwan has been rated the top Asian nation in RSF’s Press Freedom Index for five consecutive years, since 2013, ranked 45th in 2017. At first, the association worked to promote alternative journalism, but there were disagreements between the founders. Only Ménard remained and he changed the organization's direction towards promoting freedom of the press. Reporters Without Borders states that it draws its inspiration from Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to which everyone has "the right to freedom of opinion and expression" and the right to "seek and impart" information and ideas "regardless of frontiers". Ménard was RWB's first Secretary General. Jean-François Julliard succeeded Ménard in 2008. Christophe Deloire succeeded Julliard in July 2012. Reporters Without Borders' primary means of direct action are appeals to government authorities through letters or petitions, as well as frequent press releases.
Through its world-wide network of 150 correspondents, RWB gathers information and conducts investigations of press freedom violations by region or topic. If necessary, it will send a team of its own to assess working conditions for journalists in a specific country, it releases annual reports on countries as well as the Press Freedom Index. It has launched advertising campaigns with the pro bono assistance of advertising firms to raise public awareness of threats to freedom of information and freedom of the press, to undermine the image of countries that it considers enemies of freedom of expression, to discourage political support by the international community for governments that attack rather than protect freedom of information. RWB provides assistance for journalists and media who are either in danger or are having difficulty subsisting, they provide money to assist exiled or imprisoned journalists and their families and the unsupported families of journalists who have been killed. Reporters Without Borders is a founding member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a virtual network of non-governmental organizations that monitors free expression violations worldwide and defends journalists and others who are persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
RWB has a presence in 150 countries through local correspondents who act as information relays and through close collaborations with local and regional press freedom groups, including: Through the years RWB has received a number of awards, including: 2014: City of Bonn's 2014 DemokratiePreis. 2013: received the "Freedom of Speech Award" from the International Association of Press Clubs, in Warsaw. 2012: received the "Club Internacional de Prensa" Award, in Madrid. 2009: shared the "Roland Berger Human Dignity Award" with Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi. 2009: received the "Médaille Charlemagne" for European Media. 2008: received the "Kahlil Gibran Award for Institutional Excellence" from the Arab American Institute Foundation. 2007: received the "Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award" from Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and the "Dawit Isaak Prize" from Swedish Publicists' Association. 2006: received an International Emmy Award from the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
2005: shared the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for "Freedom of Thought" with Nigerian human rights lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim and Cuba's Ladies in White movement. 1997: received the "Journalism and Democracy Prize" from the Parliament Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 1992: received the "Lorenzo Natali Prize" from the European Commission for defending human rights and democracy. Reporters Without Borders issues press releases, fact finding reports, periodical publications, it publishes periodic mission reports on developments in individual countries or regions or on a specific topic. Each December it publishes an annual overview of events related to freedom of information and the safety of journalists, it maintains a web site accessible in six languages (French, Spanish, Arabic
Lists of countries and territories
This list is incomplete. You can help by expanding itThis is a list of many lists of countries and territories by various definitions, including FIFA countries and fictional countries. A country or territory in the sense of nation or state. List of countries by name The characteristics of the human population: Population and poverty List of countries and dependencies by population List of countries by population List of countries and territories by population density List of countries by real population density List of countries by past population Lists of countries by population in: 1900 1907 2000 2010 List of countries by past and future population List of countries by past and future population List of countries by population growth rate List of countries by net migration rate List of countries by sex ratio List of countries by percentage of population living in poverty Life and health List of countries by birth rate List of countries by death rate List of countries and territories by fertility rate List of countries by foreign-born population List of countries by happiness List of countries by HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate List of countries by homicide rate List of countries by infant mortality rate List of countries by life expectancy List of countries by median age List of countries by suicide rate List of countries by percentage of population suffering from undernourishment List of countries by Human Development Index List of countries by literacy rate Education Index Life Expectancy Index Religion List of countries by Christian population List of countries by Muslim population List of countries by Hindu population List of countries by Buddhist population List of countries by Jewish population List of countries by Sikh population List of countries by Ahmadiyya population List of countries by irreligious population Language List of countries by spoken languages List of countries by English-speaking population List of countries where Arabic is an official language List of countries where English is an official language List of countries where French is an official language List of countries where Portuguese is an official language List of countries where Russian is an official language List of countries where Spanish is an official language Urbanization by country The production and consumption of goods and services: Ease of Doing Business Index Rankings List of countries by central bank interest rates List of countries by current account balance List of countries by distribution of wealth List of countries by economic freedom List of countries by employment rate List of countries by exports List of countries by external debt List of countries by foreign exchange reserves List of countries by freshwater withdrawal List of countries by imports List of countries by income equality List of countries by number of broadband Internet subscriptions List of countries by number of Internet hosts List of countries by number of Internet users List of countries by Official Development Assistance received List of countries by public debt List of countries by research and development spending List of countries by unemployment rate List of largest consumer markets List of minimum wages by country List of most charitable countries The value of goods and services produced within a country: List of countries by cement production List of countries by motor vehicle production List of shipbuilders and shipyards List of countries by steel production Fishing industry by country International wheat production statistics Land use statistics by country List of countries by apple production List of countries by dietary calorie intake List of countries by irrigated land area List of countries by tomato production List of wine-producing countries The physical and biotic factors that act upon an ecosystem: List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita List of countries by energy consumption per capita List of countries by electrification rate List of countries by electricity consumption List of countries by electricity production from renewable sources List of countries by energy consumption and production List of countries by greenhouse gas emissions per capita List of countries by ratio of GDP to carbon dioxide emissions List of countries with the most hydro-electric capacity List of countries by installed wind power capacity The Earth and its features: List of countries and dependencies by area List of countries by forest area List of countries by length of coastline List of countries by total renewable water resources List of countries without rivers List of countries and territories by continent List of sovereign states and dependent territories by continent List of countries by highest point List of countries by lowest point List of countries by northernmost point List of countries by southernmost point List of countries by easternmost point List of countries by westernmost point List of countries by Exclusive Economic Zone List of island countries List of countries that border only one other country List of countries and territories by land borders List of landlocked countries Freedom of religion by country Freedom of speech by country Blasphemy law by country Censorship by country Internet censorship and surveillance by country Human rights by country Laws against Holocaust denial by country LGBT rights by country or territory List of countries by United Nations geoscheme List of ISO 3166 country codes Global Peace Index rankings List of countries by military expenditures List of countries by number of troops List of countries without armed forces List of aircraft carriers by country List of states with nuclear weapons List of submarine oper
The World Factbook
The World Factbook known as the CIA World Factbook, is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. The official print version is available from the Government Printing Office. Other companies—such as Skyhorse Publishing—also print a paper edition; the Factbook is available in the form of a website, updated every week. It is available for download for use off-line, it provides a two- to three-page summary of the demographics, communications, government and military of each of 267 international entities including U. S.-recognized countries and other areas in the world. The World Factbook is prepared by the CIA for the use of U. S. government officials, its style, format and content are designed to meet their requirements. However, it is used as a resource for academic research papers and news articles; as a work of the U. S. government, it is in the public domain in the United States. In researching the Factbook, the CIA uses the sources listed below.
Other public and private sources are consulted. Antarctic Information Program Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center Bureau of the Census Bureau of Labor Statistics Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs Defense Intelligence Agency Department of Energy Department of State Fish and Wildlife Service Maritime Administration National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Naval Facilities Engineering Command Office of Insular Affairs Office of Naval Intelligence Oil & Gas Journal United States Board on Geographic Names United States Transportation Command Because the Factbook is in the public domain, people are free under United States law to redistribute it or parts of it in any way that they like, without permission of the CIA. However, the CIA requests. Copying the official seal of the CIA without permission is prohibited by U. S. federal law—specifically, the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949. Before November 2001 The World Factbook website was updated yearly. Information available as of January 1 of the current year is used in preparing the Factbook.
The first, edition of Factbook was published in August 1962, the first unclassified version in June 1971. The World Factbook was first available to the public in print in 1975. In 2008 the CIA discontinued printing the Factbook themselves, instead turning printing responsibilities over to the Government Printing Office; this happened due to a CIA decision to "focus Factbook resources" on the online edition. The Factbook has been on the World Wide Web since October 1994; the web version receives an average of 6 million visits per month. The official printed version is sold by the Government Printing Office and National Technical Information Service. In past years, the Factbook was available on CD-ROM, magnetic tape, floppy disk. Many Internet sites use information and images from the CIA World Factbook. Several publishers, including Grand River Books, Potomac Books, Skyhorse Publishing have re-published the Factbook in recent years; as of July 2011, The World Factbook comprises 267 entities, which can be divided into the following categories: Independent countries The CIA defines these as people "politically organized into a sovereign state with a definite territory."
In this category, there are 195 entities. Others Places set apart from the list of independent countries. There are two: Taiwan and the European Union. Dependencies and Areas of Special Sovereignty Places affiliated with another country, they may be subcategorized by affiliated country: Australia: six entities China: two entities Denmark: two entities France: eight entities Netherlands: three entities New Zealand: three entities Norway: three entities United Kingdom: seventeen entities United States: fourteen entitiesMiscellaneous Antarctica and places in dispute. There are six such entities. Other entities The World and the oceans. There are the World. Areas not covered Specific regions within a country or areas in dispute among countries, such as Kashmir, are not covered, but other areas of the world whose status is disputed, such as the Spratly Islands, have entries. Subnational areas of countries are not included in the Factbook. Instead, users looking for information about subnational areas are referred to "a comprehensive encyclopedia" for their reference needs.
This criterion was invoked in the 2007 and 2011 editions with the decision to drop the entries for French Guiana, Martinique and Reunion. They were dropped because besides being overseas departments, they were now overseas regions, an integral part of France. Kashmir Maps depicting Kashmir have the Indo-Pakistani border drawn at the Line of Control, but the region of Kashmir administered by China drawn in hash marks. Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus, which the U. S. considers part of the Republic of Cyprus, is not given a separate entry because "territorial occupations/annexations not recognized by the United States Government are not shown on U. S. Government maps."Taiwan/Republic of China The name
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to countries of the world for capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association; the World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group. The World Bank's most recent stated goal is the reduction of poverty; as of November 2018, the largest recipients of world bank loans were India and China, through loans from IBRD. The World Bank is different from the World Bank Group, an extended family of five international organizations: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development International Development Association International Finance Corporation Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes The World Bank was created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference along with the International Monetary Fund; the president of the World Bank is, traditionally, an American. The World Bank and the IMF are both based in Washington, D.
C. and work with each other. Although many countries were represented at the Bretton Woods Conference, the United States and United Kingdom were the most powerful in attendance and dominated the negotiations; the intention behind the founding of the World Bank was to provide temporary loans to low-income countries which were unable to obtain loans commercially. The Bank may make loans and demand policy reforms from recipients. Before 1974, the reconstruction and development loans provided by the World Bank were small; the Bank's staff were aware of the need to instill confidence in the bank. Fiscal conservatism ruled, loan applications had to meet strict criteria; the first country to receive a World Bank loan was France. The Bank's president at the time, John McCloy, chose France over two other applicants and Chile; the loan was for US$250 million, half the amount requested, it came with strict conditions. France had to agree to produce a balanced budget and give priority of debt repayment to the World Bank over other governments.
World Bank staff monitored the use of the funds to ensure that the French government met the conditions. In addition, before the loan was approved, the United States State Department told the French government that its members associated with the Communist Party would first have to be removed; the French government complied and removed the Communist coalition government - the so-called tripartite. Within hours, the loan to France was approved; when the Marshall Plan went into effect in 1947, many European countries began receiving aid from other sources. Faced with this competition, the World Bank shifted its focus to non-European countries; until 1968, its loans were earmarked for the construction of infrastructure works, such as seaports, highway systems, power plants, that would generate enough income to enable a borrower country to repay the loan. In 1960, the International Development Association was formed, providing soft loans to developing countries. From 1974 to 1980 the bank concentrated on meeting the basic needs of people in the developing world.
The size and number of loans to borrowers was increased as loan targets expanded from infrastructure into social services and other sectors. These changes can be attributed to Robert McNamara, appointed to the presidency in 1968 by Lyndon B. Johnson. McNamara implored bank treasurer Eugene Rotberg to seek out new sources of capital outside of the northern banks, the primary sources of funding. Rotberg used the global bond market to increase the capital available to the bank. One consequence of the period of poverty alleviation lending was the rapid rise of third world debt. From 1976 to 1980 developing world debt rose at an average annual rate of 20%. In 1980 the World Bank Administrative Tribunal was established to decide on disputes between the World Bank Group and its staff where allegation of non-observance of contracts of employment or terms of appointment had not been honored. In 1980 McNamara was succeeded by Alden W. Clausen. Clausen crafted a different mission emphasis, his 1982 decision to replace the bank's Chief Economist, Hollis B.
Chenery, with Anne Krueger was an example of this new focus. Krueger was known for her criticism of development funding and for describing Third World governments as "rent-seeking states". During the 1980s the bank emphasized lending to service Third-World debt, structural adjustment policies designed to streamline the economies of developing nations. UNICEF reported in the late 1980s that the structural adjustment programs of the World Bank had been responsible for "reduced health and educational levels for tens of millions of children in Asia, Latin America, Africa". Beginning in 1989, in response to harsh criticism from many groups, the bank began including environmental groups and NGOs in its loans to mitigate the past effects of its development policies that had prompted the criticism, it formed an implementing agency, in accordance with the Montreal Protocols, to stop ozone-depletion damage to the Earth's atmosphere by phasing out the use of 95% of ozone-depleting chemicals, with a target date of 2015.
Since in accordance with its so-called "Six Strategic Themes", the bank has put various additional policies into effect to preserve the environment while promoting development. For example, in 1991 the bank announced that to protect against deforestation in the Amazon, it would not finance any commercial logging or infrastructure projects that harm the en
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum, based in Cologny-Geneva, was founded in 1971 as a not-for-profit organization. It gained formal status in January 2015 under the Swiss Host-State Act, confirming the role of the Forum as an International Institution for Public-Private Cooperation; the Forum's mission is cited as "committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political and other leaders of society to shape global and industry agendas". The WEF hosts a annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland; the meeting brings together some 2,500 business leaders, international political leaders, economists and journalists for up to four days to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world. The organization convenes some six to eight regional meetings each year in locations across Africa, East Asia and Latin America, holds two further annual meetings in China and the United Arab Emirates. Beside meetings, the organization provides a platform for leaders from all stakeholder groups from around the world – business and civil society – to come together.
It produces a series of research reports and engages its members in sector-specific initiatives. There have been many other international conferences nicknamed with "Davos". However, the World Economic Forum objected the use of "Davos" in such contexts for any event not organised by them; this particular statement was issued on 22 October 2018, a day before the opening of 2018 Future Investment Initiative organised by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. The WEF was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a business professor at the University of Geneva. First named the "European Management Forum", it changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987 and sought to broaden its vision to include providing a platform for resolving international conflicts. In the summer of 1971, Schwab invited 444 executives from Western European firms to the first European Management Symposium held in the Davos Congress Centre under the patronage of the European Commission and European industrial associations, where Schwab sought to introduce European firms to American management practices.
He founded the WEF as a nonprofit organization based in Geneva and drew European business leaders to Davos for the annual meetings each January. Schwab developed the "stakeholder" management approach, which attributed corporate success to managers taking account of all interests: not shareholders and customers, but employees and the communities within which the firm is situated, including governments. Events in 1973, including the collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed-exchange rate mechanism and the Arab–Israeli War, saw the annual meeting expand its focus from management to economic and social issues, for the first time, political leaders were invited to the annual meeting in January 1974. Political leaders soon began to use the annual meeting as a neutral platform; the Davos Declaration was signed in 1988 by Greece and Turkey, helping them turn back from the brink of war. In 1992, South African President F. W. de Klerk met with Nelson Mandela and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the annual meeting, their first joint appearance outside South Africa.
At the 1994 annual meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat reached a draft agreement on Gaza and Jericho. In late 2015, the invitation was extended to include a North Korean delegation for the 2016 forum, "in view of positive signs coming out of the country", the WEF organizers noted. North Korea has not been attending the WEF since 1998; the invitation was accepted but after the January 2016 North Korean nuclear test on 6 January, the invitation was revoked, the country's delegation was made subject to "existing and possible forthcoming sanctions". Despite protests by North Korea calling the decision by the WEF managing board a "sudden and irresponsible" move, the WEF committee maintained the exclusion because "under these circumstances there would be no opportunity for international dialogue". In 2017, the World Economic Forum in Davos attracted considerable attention when for the first time, a head of state from the People's Republic of China was present at the alpine resort.
With the backdrop of Brexit, an incoming protectionist US administration and significant pressures on free trade zones and trade agreements, President Xi Jinping defended the global economic scheme, portrayed China as a responsible nation and a leader for environmental causes. He rebuked the current populist movements that would introduce tariffs and hinder global commerce, warning that such protectionism could foster isolation and reduced economic opportunity. In 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the plenary speech, becoming the first head of state from India to deliver the inaugural keynote for the annual meet at Davos. Modi highlighted climate change and protectionism as the three major global challenges, expressed confidence that they can be tackled with collective effort. In 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gave the keynote address at the plenary session of the conference. On his first international trip to Davos, he emphasized liberal economic policies despite his populist agenda, attempted to reassure the world that Brazil is a protector of the rain forest while utilizing its resources for food production and export.
He stated that "his government will seek to better integrate Brazil into the world by mainstreaming international best practices, such as those adopted and promoted by the OECD". Environmental concerns like extreme weather events, the failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation were among the top-r
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an international organization headquartered in Washington, D. C. consisting of "189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, reduce poverty around the world." Formed in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference by the ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, it came into formal existence in 1945 with 29 member countries and the goal of reconstructing the international payment system. It now plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises. Countries contribute funds to a pool through a quota system from which countries experiencing balance of payments problems can borrow money; as of 2016, the fund had SDR477 billion. Through the fund, other activities such as the gathering of statistics and analysis, surveillance of its members' economies and the demand for particular policies, the IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries.
The organisation's objectives stated in the Articles of Agreement are: to promote international monetary co-operation, international trade, high employment, exchange-rate stability, sustainable economic growth, making resources available to member countries in financial difficulty. IMF funds come from two major sources:quotas and loans. Quotas, which are pooled funds of member nations, generate most IMF funds; the size of a member's quota depends on its financial importance in the world. Nations with larger economic importance have larger quotas; the quotas are increased periodically as a means of boosting the IMF's resources. The current Managing Director and Chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund is French lawyer and former politician, Christine Lagarde, who has held the post since 5 July 2011. Gita Gopinath was appointed as Chief Economist of IMF from October 1, 2018, she received her Ph. D. in economics from Princeton University. According to the IMF itself, it works to foster global growth and economic stability by providing policy advice and financing the members by working with developing nations to help them achieve macroeconomic stability and reduce poverty.
The rationale for this is that private international capital markets function imperfectly and many countries have limited access to financial markets. Such market imperfections, together with balance-of-payments financing, provide the justification for official financing, without which many countries could only correct large external payment imbalances through measures with adverse economic consequences; the IMF provides alternate sources of financing. Upon the founding of the IMF, its three primary functions were: to oversee the fixed exchange rate arrangements between countries, thus helping national governments manage their exchange rates and allowing these governments to prioritize economic growth, to provide short-term capital to aid the balance of payments; this assistance was meant to prevent the spread of international economic crises. The IMF was intended to help mend the pieces of the international economy after the Great Depression and World War II; as well, to provide capital investments for economic growth and projects such as infrastructure.
The IMF's role was fundamentally altered by the floating exchange rates post-1971. It shifted to examining the economic policies of countries with IMF loan agreements to determine if a shortage of capital was due to economic fluctuations or economic policy; the IMF researched what types of government policy would ensure economic recovery. A particular concern of the IMF was to prevent financial crisis, such as those in Mexico 1982, Brazil in 1987, East Asia in 1997–98 and Russia in 1998, from spreading and threatening the entire global financial and currency system; the challenge was to promote and implement policy that reduced the frequency of crises among the emerging market countries the middle-income countries which are vulnerable to massive capital outflows. Rather than maintaining a position of oversight of only exchange rates, their function became one of surveillance of the overall macroeconomic performance of member countries, their role became a lot more active because the IMF now manages economic policy rather than just exchange rates.
In addition, the IMF negotiates conditions on lending and loans under their policy of conditionality, established in the 1950s. Low-income countries can borrow on concessional terms, which means there is a period of time with no interest rates, through the Extended Credit Facility, the Standby Credit Facility and the Rapid Credit Facility. Nonconcessional loans, which include interest rates, are provided through Stand-By Arrangements, the Flexible Credit Line, the Precautionary and Liquidity Line, the Extended Fund Facility; the IMF provides emergency assistance via the Rapid Financing Instrument to members facing urgent balance-of-payments needs. The IMF is mandated to oversee the international monetary and financial system and monitor the economic and financial policies of its member countries; this activity facilitates international co-operation. Since the demise of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates in the early 1970s, surveillance has evolved by way of changes in procedures rather than through the adoption of new obligations.
The responsibilities changed from those of guardian to those of overseer of members' policies. The Fund analyses the appropriateness of each member country's economic and financial policies for achieving orderly economic growth, assesses the consequences of these policies for other countries and for the global e