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Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPS) were introduced by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in the 1980s in response to a series of economic crises in the global South. During this era, these institutions made access to loans by poor countries conditional on a set of economic policies that aimed to reduce state spending and open up their economies to international trade. Proponents of SAPs claimed that they would encourage economic growth; however they have been heavily criticised for undermining national sovereignty, deepening social inequality and further marginalising many poorer countries in the global economy.