WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund, seeking to stem the economic crisis, said Tuesday that it would overhaul its lending practices to give countries the ability to borrow more money faster and with fewer strings attached.
IMF officials said the changes, which include a new flexible line of credit, are partly a response to long-standing criticisms that the conditions it imposes on borrowers, and in particular developing nations, are too harsh and curb economic growth. South Korea and Singapore have refused to take money from the IMF for that reason.
In order to remove that stigma and entice more countries to seek help, the IMF is trying to streamline its lending practices. It is doubling the amount of aid available in some cases and creating a new line of credit that would not require countries to meet certain conditions in exchange for funds.
Countries could pre-qualify for aid based on criteria that include the size of their trade deficits and their track records in developing policies that support growth.