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Bretton Woods Update No.56 May/June 2007

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

From Wolfowitz to Zoellick: an opportunity lost

News|28 June 2007

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/

The worst crisis faced by the World Bank in over 60 years brought business to a halt for over six weeks. What really happened, what unfinished business remains, and what lessons have been learned? read article...

Regional programmes do not address underlying reforms: evaluation

News|2 July 2007

In April, the Independent Evaluation Group released its first-ever review of the Bank's support for regional programmes, covering the period 1995 - 2005. read article...

Defending sexual and reproductive health rights

by Grace Karanja

Comment|2 July 2007

Grace Karanja of the AMANITARE secretariat in Kenya comments on the battle to defend sexual and reproductive health rights in the Bank's new health, population and nutrition strategy. read article...

World Bank's carbon trading plans fail Africa

News|2 July 2007

While the World Bank promotes the burgeoning carbon trading market as a "tool to help Africa's poor", an investigation has unearthed gross incompetence with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in which the Bank is heavily involved. A report by Oxfam points out serious inadequacies with the Bank's adaptation figures. read article...

World Bank: avoiding deforestation but violating rights?

News|2 July 2007

Alarm bells are being rung about 'avoided deforestation', the World Bank's latest tool in the fight against climate change, while a Greenpeace report has heavily criticised the Bank's failure to bring the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) logging industry under control. read article...

Honest broker? The IFC, extractive industries and affected communities

News|2 July 2007

The IFC is planning to double its mining investment in Africa and increase involvement in Southeast Asia, raising civil society concerns about the rights of affected communities. read article...

The World Bank and energy

Inside the inst|2 July 2007

Information on the objectives, staffing, and volumes of the World Bank's energy portfolio. read article...

Bank replicates past hydropower mistakes?

News|2 July 2007

Concerns raised about the Nam Theun 2 dam in Lao PDR, the Bujagali dam in Uganda and the Inga dam in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) suggest that the Bank may be replicating past mistakes in the flagship projects of its new generation of 'high-risk high-reward' hydropower. read article...

Just say no Vocal rejection of Bank, Fund increasing

News|2 July 2007

Member countries are increasingly rebuffing World Bank and IMF programmes, advice and even membership, with Latin American nations withdrawing from the Bank's investment arbitration mechanism. read article...

Threats to withdraw from Bank's investment tribunal

News|2 July 2007

End April the leaders of Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua agreed to withdraw from the World Bank's International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, a tribunal which rules on cases against governments brought by foreign investors. read article...

Heated exchanges over exchange rates IMF decides on surveillance reform

News|2 July 2007

The IMF executive board agreed to revise the legal framework for bilateral surveillance in June with the final text incorporating many of the safeguards demanded by developing countries but still angering the Chinese. read article...

Bank and Fund undermining health, education spending

News|2 July 2007

A high powered working group examining the IMF and health spending found that the Fund has unduly constrained counties’ policy choices, while other recent reports accuse the World Bank and the IMF of undermining quality education. Meanwhile, the Bank’s private sector arm has stepped up its support for private schooling in Africa. read article...

At the crossroads: Which way the World Bank's transport strategy?

by Brendan Martin

At Issue|2 July 2007

Following an IEG evaluation of the World Bank's work in transport, and delays in the release of a new Bank transport strategy, Public World director Brendan Martin asks what the Bank has learned. With spending on transport likely to increase, what direction will the Bank's transport projects take from here and who is in the driver's seat? read article...

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