‘They no longer use bullets and ropes. They use the World Bank and the IMF’
- Patrick Watt, Senior Policy Officer, Action Aid
- Peter Hardstaff, Head of Policy, National WDM
Chair: Dona Velluti
At: Long Room, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates
Suggested donation: £4/£2
For the past 20 years the IMF and World Bank have been aggravating global poverty. They must be either reformed or abolished.
Who are the IMF and World Bank?
- The IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank are International Financial Institutions based in Washington DC. Both lend money exclusively to developing countries — often in times of economic crisis.
What’s so problematic about them?
- The World Bank and IMF impose harmful conditions on the poor. They frequently demand privatisation of health, education and water services in exchange for financial assistance. This compounds poverty. They are anti-poor.
- In order to ensure they reap sufficient money in repayments, the IMF and World Bank demand cuts in social spending - the spending that eases poverty and improves lives. They are parasitic.
- Big projects funded by the World Bank such as dams and power plants often cause untold environmental damage. They are destructive.
- The strings attached to loans force governments to bow to the demands of their financiers, above their own population. They are anti-democracy.
The IMF and World Bank: who decides?
- The U.S has 17% of IMF votes. Major reforms require 85% of the vote. The U.S therefore possess a veto on meaningful change. They are undemocratic.
It is time that rich countries and their institutions stopped dictating harmful conditions which hold back development.
Be part of the debate. Join speakers from Action Aid and the World Development Movement in discussing the future of these institutions.
‘Failing economic policies, a debt crisis and a gaping democratic deficit’ (WDM)