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Bretton Woods Update No.84 January/February 2013

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A forest of failures "Negligible" sustainability in World Bank's forest work

News|12 February 2013

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/

A leaked copy of an evaluation of the Bank's forest strategy criticises the Bank's failure to address social and environmental goals. Further criticism has also been raised over the Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). read article...

Getting its hands dirty World Bank increases fossil fuel lending

News|12 February 2013

As the World Bank president became more vocal about climate change, concerns remain about the Bank's involvement in fossil fuels, including projects in Mongolia and Central Asia, and questions have been raised about its accountability for hydro projects in India and Guatemala. read article...

IFC jobs study "fragmentary"

News|12 February 2013

The claim that the International Finance Corporation's investments create jobs was put to the test by the IFC jobs study released in January. read article...

Hastily introduced World Bank projects threaten to undermine peace process in Burma

by Khin Ohmar

Comment|22 January 2013

In late 2012 the World Bank announced its first lending to Burma in over 20 years. The concern among many grassroots activists, however, is that the areas to which this money will be funnelled are still in the earliest stages of the peace process, and that huge influxes of money will undermine efforts for sustainable peace. read article...

IEG finds declining impact at Bank, IFC

News|13 February 2013

An annual Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) report on the Results and performance of the World Bank Group 2012 showed declining effectiveness at the Bank Group, with its worst ratings in the areas where its lending is increasing the fastest or it is prioritising work, such as infrastructure and public-private partnerships (PPPs). read article...

IFC investments "rarely touch the poor"

News|12 February 2013

Criticism of the International Finance Corporation's lack of poverty focus has again caught the spotlight, as the IFC continues to fund projects that stretch the interpretation of development. read article...

IFC oblivious to impact of lending to financial sector

News|12 February 2013

An audit of the IFC's investments in financial intermediaries reveals a lack of assessment of environmental and social impacts. read article...

World Bank Group's sub-national lending

Inside the inst|13 February 2013

The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the Bank's private sector arm) are jointly encouraging sub-national lending to states or provinces, aimed at boosting direct engagement at the state or municipal level. read article...

IFC-funded mines: still courting controversy

News|13 February 2013

Following a year of violence associated with IFC-funded mining projects, the IFC's mining investments in Guatemala, Mongolia, Peru and Colombia are still provoking controversy. read article...

Kim launches first World Bank restructuring salvo

News|12 February 2013

After winning over staff and shareholders in his first six months as World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim launched a publicly unexplained reorganisation of senior management at the Bank in late December, ahead of an expected strategy overhaul and deeper restructuring. read article...

IMF accused of anti-China bias

News|13 February 2013

The IMF's Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) published a late December evaluation that was critical of IMF concerns and advice relating to international reserves, especially the accumulation by countries of large quantities of US dollar assets. read article...

The Troika setting a "default trap"?

News|13 February 2013

Controversy erupted in January after the IMF implied lenders to Greece may need to provide yet more debt relief, while the social and economic sustainability of other Troika (the lending triumvirate comprising the Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission) programmes is still in question. read article...

Bankspeak of the year 2012

Humour|12 February 2013

Every year the Bretton Woods Project celebrates the best specimens of incomprehensible jargon and ridiculous rhetoric issued by World Bank and IMF staff and financial commentators in the cause of IFI business. read article...

Recommended resources on the World Bank and IMF 2012

News|12 February 2013

Recommended resources on the World Bank and IMF 2012 read article...

World Bank on jobs: a "significant departure" or "business as usual"?

by Brendan Martin

At Issue|13 February 2013

The opening sentences of the 2013 World Development Report Jobs, could not be clearer: "Jobs are the cornerstone of economic and social development". Brendan Martin of UK NGO Public World examines the policy implications for developing economies, trade unions and the wider development community. read article...

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New website launched

You are now browsing an archive version of the Bretton Woods Project's website. This site has not been updated since September 2013, but may be used for reference material as the nbew site is being developed. However we suggest you look at the new website:

Recent briefings & reports

Memorandum to the International Development Committee: Inquiry on the Future of UK Development Cooperation  26 June 2013

The Doing Business review: a test of World Bank leadership 24 June 2013

Climate Investment Funds Monitor 7: April 2013  25 April 2013

Working paper: The private sector and climate change adaptation: International Finance Corporation investments under the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience  24 April 2013

The UK's role in the World Bank and IMF: Department for International Development and HM Treasury  13 March 2013

World Bank on jobs: a "significant departure" or "business as usual"? 13 February 2013

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