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Bretton Woods Update No.51 May/June 2006

PDF version | At Issue PDF | text version | versión en español

‘Cleaning’ energy Ambiguous framework proposes coal and large hydro

News|19 June 2006

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/

Environment and development groups have slated the World Bank’s ‘Clean energy and development: towards an investment framework’ for its perverse definition of clean energy, letting Northern polluters off the hook and neglecting the needs of the rural poor. read article...

Bank stumped on Uruguayan paper mills

News|19 June 2006

The IFC and MIGA have been unable to manage the international dispute created by their proposed investment in two pulp and paper mills in Uruguay, and show no signs of setting a board date for considering Bank support. read article...

Inspection Panel condemns Bank forestry project in Cambodia

News|19 June 2006

A leaked Inspection Panel report heavily criticises a Bank's forestry management project in Cambodia. read article...

Barrage of criticism over IFC safeguards review

News|19 June 2006

A number of new reports have come out in criticism of the IFC's recent revision of its lending standards. read article...

One hand gives while the other takes: Nicaragua under IMF conditions

by Adolfo José Acevedo Vogl

Comment|19 June 2006

IMF conditionality undermines achievement of MDGs in Nicaragua read article...

Evaluation echoes civil society critique of World Bank-IMF debt relief efforts

News|19 June 2006

An evaluation of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative by the Bank's Independent Evaluation Group released in April begs the question what next for debt relief efforts. read article...

Righting the Bank’s agenda

News|19 June 2006

The departing swansong of World Bank former legal counsel Roberto Dañino in January 2006 has finally put to rest any claims that the Bank is legally exempt from taking human rights into account. read article...

African EDs urge top-up for capacity building

News|19 June 2006

As the pilot phase of the Analytical Trust Fund, which finances research to support Sub-Saharan African executive directors' participation on the boards of the Bank and Fund, draws to a close, directors urge its replenishment. read article...

The World Bank and ageing

Inside the inst|19 June 2006

The who, what, where and how much of the World Bank's work with the aged and pension reform. read article...

Evaluation finds Bank's disaster work reactive, lacks strategy

News|19 June 2006

The Independent Evaluation Group published an evaluation of World Bank assistance for natural disasters, finding that the Bank lacks a strategic approach to disasters, is failing to integrate disaster preparation in its lending, and lacks sufficient expertise or coordination mechanisms. read article...

IMF strategic review: too little, too late? Fund acquires new powers for multilateral consultation

News|19 June 2006

The managing director's report on the medium-term strategic review released at the spring meetings was short on specific proposals for reform implementation and lacked commitments for improved democratic functioning or strengthened surveillance of large industrial countries. read article...

Internal financial crisis at the IMF

News|19 June 2006

The impetus for the IMF strategic review has come as much from pressure to reform the institution as from a crisis in its finances. After Brazil and Argentina's early repayments, Indonesia, currently the second largest debtor to the Fund with nearly $8 billion outstanding, has promised to repay this year. read article...

Bank cooks up growth study

News|19 June 2006

At the spring meetings in April the Bank released a paper on fiscal policy for growth, and announced the creation of an independent commission on growth. However, the composition of the commission suggests that its purpose is to shore up the widening cracks in the Washington consensus, rather than explore new thinking. read article...

Inflexibility on aid scale up haunts IMF fiscal conditions

News|19 June 2006

The rigidity of Fund programmes is causing chafing at the collar in governments and civil society organisations in low-income countries, as the debate over the scaling up of aid rages. read article...

Malaria experts say World Bank published false statistics, approved deadly treatments

News|19 June 2006

A group of public health experts has called for an independent investigation into the World Bank's publication of "false epidemiological statistics", approval of "obsolete treatments" for a deadly strain of malaria, and failure to uphold its pledges for funding malaria control. read article...

Beware the big, bland wolf The first year of Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank

by Jeff Powell

At Issue|19 June 2006

What has most surprised World Bank watchers is how little Paul Wolfowitz has changed the institution he took over one year ago. On Africa, infrastructure, debt relief and the environment, he has stayed the course - for better or worse - set by his predecessor James Wolfensohn. On the high-profile issue of corruption, he has created a lot of noise, but many question whether or not he has a plan. Only in his management moves has he lived up to the fears - or in some cases wishes - of his critics. read article...

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