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The global financial crisis that originated in the developed economies has hit low-income countries hard. As they were coping with the food and fuel price shocks of 2008, the crisis caused a sharp decline in world trade, falling commodity prices, and dropping remittances. In response, the IMF has undertaken a series of reforms aimed at supporting these countries. This initiative culminated in July with the announcement of significant new resources for low-income countries, interest rate relief on all concessional loans through 2011, and new concessional lending instruments designed to better meet the diverse needs of those nations.
On September 17, 2009, the Center for Global Development hosted IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn for a speech titled “Helping Low-Income Countries Cope with the Global Financial Crisis.” The event, moderated by CGD President Nancy Birdsall, provided an opportunity to discuss the outlook for the developing world before both the September 24-25th G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh and the IMF Annual Meetings in Istanbul.