The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that was initiated in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference and formally created in 1945 by 29 member countries. The IMF's stated goal was to assist in the reconstruction of the world's international payment system post–World War II. The IMF currently has a near-global membership of 188 countries. To become a member, a country must apply and then be accepted by a majority of the existing members. Upon joining, each member country of the IMF is assigned a quota, based broadly on its relative size in the world economy. The IMF provides policy advice and financing to members in economic difficulties and also works with developing nations to help them achieve macroeconomic stability and reduce poverty.