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The IMF needs to radically change the way it works in low income countries. It must finally move on from an outdated focus on exclusively short-term macro-stability and pessimism about aid to one based on long-term poverty needs and the MDGs. If it does this it can play a vital, proactive and dynamic role as a key partner in poverty reduction. If it does not, the much hailed new poverty focus of IMF programmes in low income countries risks being largely discredited.

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