Donors pledge US$18.9 million to Strengthen Technical Assistance on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism

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Press Release No. 13/527
December 18, 2013

International donors renewed their support for the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) technical assistance in Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). During a session held yesterday in Washington, D.C., they pledged $18.9 million to the work of the Trust Fund, strengthening the second five-year phase of the global AML/CFT program, which will begin operations on May 1, 2014.

Pledges from Switzerland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Norway, Japan, France, the Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia meet about three-fourths of the stated needs of the Trust Fund over the next five years. The prospects for securing the remaining resources are very good, as discussions are ongoing with a number of other donors who also are interested in contributing to the Trust Fund, including Qatar and Korea.

Phase Two of the Trust Fund builds on the momentum of the successful first phase, which began in April 2009. Since that time, 69 projects have started, including focused bilateral engagements, regional workshops, and appointing advisers. An independent evaluation conducted in early 2012 gave high marks to the Trust Fund. Similar to Phase One, the design of the program for Phase Two will concentrate on longer-term and more focused work in selected countries to deliver sustainable results.

Sean Hagan, General Counsel and Director of the Legal Department, said, “This successful round of pledges from donors is a strong endorsement of the work and its quality, effectiveness and management, under this Trust Fund since 2009. Anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing efforts remain of real importance to financial stability. Demand for our services remains very high, and the second phase of this Trust Fund will enable us to maintain our important and valued capacity development efforts.”

Sharmini Coorey, Director of the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development, added, “This vote of confidence in the Trust Fund is greatly appreciated. Our capacity development efforts are augmented and expanded when we work in partnership with donors towards shared ends.”

In an increasingly interconnected world, financial stability is closely linked with financial integrity. Money laundering and terrorist financing activities can undermine the soundness and stability of financial institutions and systems, discourage foreign investment, and distort international capital flows. Moreover, problems in one country can quickly spread to other countries in the region or in other parts of the world. Individual countries benefit from robust AML/CFT regimes, as enhanced financial sector integrity and stability facilitates their integration into the global financial system. They also contribute to more transparent governance and effective fiscal administration. The integrity of national financial systems is thus essential to financial sector and macroeconomic stability both on a national and international level.

Background Information

The IMF fosters capacity development assistance in member countries through technical assistance and training, in addition to conducting economic and financial surveillance and lending operations. The IMF’s technical assistance helps member countries develop more effective institutions, legal frameworks and policies to promote economic stability and growth; while training strengthens the capacity of member countries’ officials to analyze economic developments and formulate and implement effective policies.

Contributors to Phase One of the Trust Fund were: Canada, France, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Web links:

Factsheet: IMF Technical Assistance: http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/tech.htm

Factsheet: IMF Training Centers: http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/training.htm

Factsheet: Regional Technical Assistance Centers: http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/afritac.htm

IMF Institute for Capacity Development: http://www.imf.org/external/np/ins/english/about.htm

Press Release: IMF Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Trust Fund: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2009/pr09108.htm

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