All too often we hear the claim that the programs the IMF supports in low-income countries hurt the most vulnerable by forcing cuts in social spending. This is a misconception. Our study concludes that, contrary to these claims, IMF-supported programs boost education and health spending in low-income countries for as long as countries are engaged with the IMF.
Drug traffickers, diamond smugglers, and terrorists’ financiers around the world have one thing in common: they abuse the financial system to “clean” the proceeds they have obtained from their illegal work, or to transfer funds to achieve their destructive aims. The former is known as money laundering and the latter as terrorist financing. The IMF has worked with countries to combat money laundering and terrorist financing for over 10 years. With the benefit of all this experience, we decided it was time to consider a new, risk-focused approach to add depth to the way we assess money laundering and terrorist financing.