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Bretton Woods Update No.65 March/April 2009

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

IFC's role in Yemen mining

by Nadia Daar

News|17 April 2009

Trends in the relationship between World Bank and IFC technical assistance policies and the IFC's investment portfolio raise interesting questions over possible conflicts of interest. Disclosure at the IFC remains opaque making specific details of projects and policies hard to come by. read article...

World Bank under fire over support for private sector health care

News|17 April 2009

The debate over the World Bank's support for private sector investment in health care provision in developing countries is in the limelight again. A new report by Oxfam asserts that while the private sector can play a role in health care, evidence shows that only scaling up of private sector provision of services is likely to deliver health benefits for poor people. read article...

G20 ‘trillion’ dollar magic trick Reforms remain house of cards

News|3 April 2009

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/

To great fanfare, the G20 announced a $1.1 trillion global package, which will actually deliver less than half that amount in new or guaranteed resources. Meanwhile issues of fundamental economic reform were left off the agenda. read article...

World Bank and IMF launch disclosure reviews

by Bruce Jenkins

News|23 April 2009

Civil society groups, painfully aware of information access problems at the World Bank and IMF, hope this year's reviews of transparency and disclosure will bring radical improvement. read article...

REDD and the rights of Indigenous Peoples Ensuring equity and participation in World Bank funds

by Mrinalini Rai

At Issue|17 April 2009

One of the most contentious issues under discussion in current climate change debates is how to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) by ensuring protection of the world's rainforests. Mrinalini Rai of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change argues that this initiative, heavily backed by the World Bank among others, raises questions about how to ensure fair compensation to those developing countries that undertake a commitment to such reductions. read article...

World Bank still supporting carbon-intensive future

by Heike Mainhardt-Gibbs

News|17 April 2009

The World Bank Group will kick off the revision of its energy sector strategy, which is to take place during fiscal year 2010 with an issues paper due out this autumn. US based NGO Bank Information Center (BIC) recently published World Bank Energy Sector Lending: Encouraging the World's Addiction to Fossil Fuels, a study on the World Bank's approach to energy sector investments. The assessment finds that important gains in renewable energy and energy efficiency in recent years still do not compensate for the highly imbalanced financing in favour of fossil fuel development. read article...

Ghana's off-shore nightmare

by Bishop Akolgo

Comment|17 April 2009

The IFC ignored due process requirements mandated by the laws of Ghana in the case of the Jubilee oil field project and should not have considered the loan applications at the board. In so dong the IFC is encouraging the infringement of the basic rules of governance and transparency. read article...

World Bank's "environment" loan to Brazil: for what?

by Patricia Bonilha

News|17 April 2009

Once again the World Bank is lending money to Brazil, but without adequate transparency or participation of civil society. read article...

IMF emergency loans: Greater flexibility to overcome the crisis?

by Nuria Molina

News|17 April 2009

Despite promising rhetoric, new IMF loans show no greater flexibility in fiscal and monetary policies because of the current crisis. The Fund is still pushing tighter fiscal policy and single-digit inflation. read article...

The IMF's special drawing rights (SDRs)

Inside the inst|1 April 2009

The special drawing right (SDR) is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement the existing official reserves of member countries. read article...

Not much on offer for poor countries to counter the crisis

by Nuria Molina

News|17 April 2009

The world's poor are being hard hit by a crisis for which they are not responsible. Low-income countries will face a financing gap of hundreds of billions of dollars this year. More than $2 trillion have been found to boost Northern economies and emerging markets. Yet richer countries have committed just over one twentieth of the additional development finance required to compensate low-income countries for the shock they face resulting from this crisis. read article...

IMF: Bigger but not much nicer

News|17 April 2009

World leaders agreed at the G20 to treble the size of the IMF's resources, but critics worry about strengthening the Fund without fundamental reform of its governance and conditionality. read article...

Latin America: Return to the IMF or reinforce alternatives?

by Maria Jose Romero

News|17 April 2009

Today, Latin American countries are faced with the option of returning to international and regional financial institutions - IMF, World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) - or rejecting the failed recipes of the 1990s in order to build and reinforce alternatives that allow them to face the current crisis. read article...

US Congress votes against funding World Bank climate fund

by Ama Marston

News|17 April 2009

In the midst of intensifying global discussions on climate change due to culminate in Copenhagen in December, the US congress voted not to fund the World Bank's Clean Technology Fund (CTF) for 2009. read article...

DFID snuggling up to the Bank?

News|14 April 2009

In February the UK Department for International Development (DFID) belatedly released its latest annual report on its relationship with the World Bank. This continues a tradition which sees these reports appear at irregular intervals. As with previous annual reports there is a marked absence of the critiques heard from the Banks Independent Evaluation Group, the Parliament's International Development Committee or civil society for the period reviewed. read article...

IFIs: Powerful bodies, little accountability

News|17 April 2009

Efforts to reform the IMF and World Bank's governance structures are coming to a head, but they may not go far enough. read article...

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