As the IMF and World Bank mark their 70th anniversary their leadership is being challenged as rival institutions have emerged, but reports of their demise appear premature.
As revolutionary movements sweep the Arab world, the World Bank and the IMF have taken a lead in international economic engagement in the Middle East and North Africa region. But critics have warned of the dangers of locking transitional governments into long-term loans with economic conditionalities that may perpetuate the flawed development model that contributed to the crisis in the first place.
Amid a global financial market seizure, which the IMF proclaimed was not likely to happen as recently as October, EU leaders and international economists speculate about how the Fund could be tackling the crash of the dollar and financial market turmoil. At the World Economic Forum, the IMF's managing director abruptly reversed the Fund's advice to the US.
At this year's annual meetings, both the World Bank and the IMF faced serious challenges to their continued relevance and legitimacy. Observers were keen to see the tone that new heads Robert Zoellick and Dominique Strauss-Kahn would set for the institutions.