Global Policy Forum

Archived Articles on World Bank


World Bank


Back to Current Articles | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1995 - 1997

Chad Backs Out of Pledge to Use Oil Wealth to Reduce Poverty (December 13, 2005)

The World Bank agreed to finance one of the biggest oil projects in Africa, the pipeline through Cameroon and Chad, under the condition that governments would use oil profits for poverty reduction. The Chadian government plans to change the terms of this agreement; as a result, the Bank is ready to halt lending and investment. According to an oil expert at Oxfam, if the law is changed, the Chadian people will not "see any benefit from the billions of dollars Chad's oil fields are likely to pump into the economy." (New York Times)

Discussing The World Development Report: Does Anyone Need It? (October 27, 2005)

Usually, the World Development Reports reflect the "most progressive face" of the World Bank. Still, the 2006 report, which focuses on "Equity and Development," fails to mention how the Bretton Woods Institutions themselves caused inequality through strict privatization and deregulation policies. Furthermore, the report offers "unhelpful prescriptions" to address inequality in the future. (Pambazuka)

"In a Situation Like This, Who Cares About Human Rights?" (October 5, 2005)

The World Bank views Export Processing Zones (EPZ) as an excellent option for poor countries to join the global market. This article describes the conditions of an EPZ on the outskirts of Nairobi, where workers earn three dollars a day without any form of benefits. Rather than liberate people worldwide, the free market has created a new slavery. (Inter Press Service)

SEEN Reviews the 2005 World Bank Annual Meeting (September 28, 2005)

At the 2005 annual meeting, the World Bank attempted to stake a claim of leadership in the global climate debate. According to the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, while the Bank talks a lot about climate-friendly formulas, in practice, it supports export-oriented oil extraction. In doing so, it even ignores the recommendations of its own commissions. A multilateral framework of the UN should deal with climate problems, rather than the World Bank, which is "an unrepresentative institution that profits from fossil fuels and carbon trading."

A Suitable Boy: Paul Wolfowitz and the World Bank (September 25, 2005)

This article points out that Paul Wolfowitz played a key role in planning the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, reporting also "his disregard for internationalism, human rights and democracy" and his past support of military dictatorships in the Philippines, Indonesia and South Korea. How can such a person chair the World Bank, an institution that should work for a "world free of poverty?" This article argues that Wolfowitz' appointment forms part of the US strategy to ensure its economic and geopolitical interests. (Focus on the Global South)

World Bank Calls for Market-Driven Equality (September 20, 2005)

The World Bank's 2006 World Development Report recognizes that economic growth and development benefit from a society where all citizens have equal opportunities. The report goes on to argue that market mechanisms can address the problem of inequity. NGO representatives point out that the report represents a "fundamental contradiction" of the Bank's policies, as the institution's market-oriented policies have in fact caused the inequalities. (Inter Press Service)

9 out of 10 World Bank Poverty Reduction Programmes Demand Privatisation (September 19, 2005)

The World Bank designed the Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSPs) to replace the much criticized Structural Adjustment Programmes which the Bank imposed on countries during 1980s and 1990s. A report from World Development Movement (WDM) finds that the "PRSPs contain on average six of nine classic Washington Consensus policy prescriptions." According to Peter Hardstaff, Head of Policy at WDM, the only difference between PRSPs and the Washington Consensus is that these policies are now defended hypocritically as "country-owned."

Operation Corporate Freedom: The IMF and the World Bank in Iraq (September, 2005)

The Paris Club of Creditors, which includes the G8 industrialized countries, is using the promise of debt cancellation as leverage for controlling Iraq's new economic structure. In exchange for forgiveness of its national debt, Iraq must accept IMF and World Bank economic liberalization policies. Though the agreement appears to benefit Iraq, its provisions would open up Iraq's economy to foreign corporations by privatizing state-owned industries and curtailing public services. (50 Years Is Enough)

Leaks Reveal G8 Debt Deal Faces Funding Shortfall (August 2, 2005)

Leaked World Bank documents suggest that the G8 countries have pledged to finance only the first three years of the poor country debt relief package they agreed on in July 2005. To fulfill the G8's promises, the Bank may have to shift funds from other programs. The documents also call into question the G8's promise to immediately cancel the full value of the debt, and suggest that the G8 will only service poor countries' debt until they pay off their loans. (World Development Movement and Jubilee Debt Campaign)

G8, Tony Blair's Commission for Africa and Debt (July 7, 2005)

In the context of the Group of Eight meeting in Gleneagles, George Dor critiques the recent debt cancellation "deal" for Africa, the Blair Commission for Africa and the rise of Paul Wolfowitz to the top job at the World Bank. He concludes that they represent "nothing other than a new means of continuing the exploitation initiated under the times of conquest, slavery and colonialism." (Pambazuka)

NGO Report on World Bank's Poverty Reduction Support Credit: Continuity or Change? (July 2005)

This report critically examines the World Bank's policy and approach to conditionality. Contrary to World Bank claims, the institution continues its strategy of no transparency and no flexibility in policy choices, forcing privatization against the opposition of national parliaments. (Debt and Development Coalition Ireland)

Which Way the World Bank? (June 13, 2005)

As Paul Wolfowitz assumes the presidency, NGOs and independent agencies are calling for reform of the World Bank. Specifically, they cite the need for more transparency and increased participation, as well as additional board seats for African representatives and an autonomous evaluation unit. (Bretton Woods Project)

Unloved, But Not Unbuilt (June 5, 2005)

As the last project in his career at the World Bank, departing Bank President James Wolfensohn approved funding for a large-scale dam project in Laos. This signaled the Bank's return to controversial infrastructure projects, and opened speculation about its future projects. Without an effective, democratic process of consultation, the Bank's efforts to "hear people's concerns" are merely rhetorical. (New York Times)

Can Paul Wolfowitz Transform from Hawk to Dove? (June 1, 2005)

Paul Wolfowitz, the incoming president of the World Bank, is best known for his hawkish policy as the "godfather of the Iraq war." The World Bank is under intense scrutiny because of Wolfowitz's nomination to this post. This article from Der Spiegel considers the different directions that the Bank can go. Critics around the world remain wary of Wolfowitz's notorious neoliberal ideology, doubting that he will fulfill the Bank's goal of global poverty reduction as a dove rather than a hawk.

Indigenous People Want Power to Veto World Bank Plans (May 31, 2005)

The World Bank and other International Financial Institutions often consider development as "the only way forward" or the inevitable future for "underdeveloped" societies. But often, "development" means that the Bank places one culture's traditions and values above another's. Indigenous populations are taking a stand against the World Bank's culturally insensitive development policies and demanding a veto over projects on their ancestral lands. (Inter Press Service)

Farewell, Wolfensohn (May 31, 2005)

James Wolfensohn stepped down as World Bank President on May 31. This article examines Wolfensohn's achievements during his 10-year term. Although Wolfensohn worked to move Bank employees closer to the people they were helping, the Bank continues to employ development strategies that fail to eliminate poverty. Despite increased communication between the World Bank and local communities, large-scale infrastructural projects such as dams and mines remain the primary targets of funding. (International Herald Tribune)

Wolfowitz Tries to Reassure World Bank Staff (May 12, 2005)

In an effort to burnish his good name with his employees, World Bank's controversial new Director Paul Wolfowitz has arranged meetings with senior personnel, addressed staff gatherings and invited Bank employees to email him their comments and suggestions. World Bank staff have expressed misgivings about Wolfowitz's close relation with the Bush administration, saying it could affect the Bank's work in countries "that disagree with the US foreign policy agenda." (Reuters)

Broken Promises: How World Bank Group Policies Fail to Protect Forest and Forest People's Rights (April 2005)

In 2002, the World Bank revised its policy on forests, allowing Bank projects to include logging and plantations. While the new policy purports to require consultation with forest communities, the Bank routinely ignores recommendations from local groups. This compilation of 12 articles details the struggle of thousands of forest dwellers around the world to preserve the world's forests. (World Rainforest Movement)

The Wolfensohn Era at the World Bank (April 25, 2005)

This Focus on the Global South article looks back at James Wolfensohn's ten-year-long stint at the head of the World Bank. In spite of his attempts to mend fences with civil society and to polish the tarnished image of the world's largest multilateral lender, public relations disasters and policy failures characterized much of Wolfensohn's presidency. Instead of reforming its much criticized programs, the Bank almost invariably chose to ignore findings presented in its own reports and continued pursuing policies that had a negligible impact on development.

Shadow of Wolfowitz Hangs over WTO amid US-EU Bargain Fears (April 4, 2005)

Poor countries fear that the European Union agreed to back Paul Wolfowitz for World Bank President in exchange for US support for the EU candidate to head the World Trade Organization (WTO). The alleged deal would mean continuing the undemocratic practice in which the United States nominates the head of the World Bank while the Europeans get to choose who leads the WTO. Overlooking poor countries' candidates for the WTO top post could further strain North-South relations at a time when the organization is just recovering from setbacks in global trade talks. (Agence France-Presse)

EU Blesses Wolfowitz as Next World Bank Chief (March 30, 2005)

In hopes of US support for a European candidate to become number two at the World Bank, European countries have agreed to back US President George W. Bush's nominee Paul Wolfowitz for the Bank's President. Diplomats pointed out that the European Union has also sought US backing for its candidate, former EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy, to head the World Trade Organization. (Reuters)

The World Bank Will Spread Misery and Deprivation Whoever Is in Charge (March 18, 2005)

According to this Independent article, the World Bank's true problem is not who leads the organization but the Bank's undemocratic structures and the neoliberal ideology that guides its policies. "You could put the Archangel Gabriel in charge of the World Bank as it is currently constituted, and it would make little difference," the author argues. Things can change only if the head of the Bank became answerable to the people over whom he exercises so much power instead of the "Bush-Halliburton White House."

The Ugly American Bank (March 18, 2005)

Paul Wolfowitz's close association with the "laissez-faire" reconstruction operation in Iraq may cast additional doubt on the World Bank's legitimacy, notes Paul Krugman of the New York Times. In Iraq, the US has strongly favored aggressive privatization and radical free-market economics that are bitterly resented in many parts of the world. Poor countries could "see Mr. Wolfowitz's selection as a sign that we're still trying to impose policies they believe have failed," writes Krugman.

Why Wolfowitz? (March 17, 2005)

The tradition of the US choosing the World Bank President has allowed US corporations to have privileged access to developing countries, and the US has constantly fought efforts to democratize the world institution in order to maintain global economic power. Jim Vallette of the Institute for Policy Studies demonstrates that Paul Wolfowitz, the Bush administration's latest choice for the top spot, is "steeped in blood and oil" and will only further increase US control over oil reserves. (TomPaine)

Green Imperialism: Wolfowitz, Wars and the Wearing Down of Sovereign States (March 17, 2005)

The World Bank, the main organizer of development funds, can "make or break nations," and US President George Bush's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz as the Bank's President signals yet another move of US strategic interest. This Common Dreams author believes "the World Bank is an indispensable tool of foreign policy that this administration wants to employ to the fullest extent to break the sovereign will of the third world," by withholding aid to countries that fail to align themselves with US policy.

Why Wolfowitz? (March 17, 2005)

Paul Wolfowitz, US President George W. Bush's pick to lead the World Bank, may possess managerial experience of running a large organization but has no professional qualifications to head one of the most important development institutions in the world. According to this Salon article, Wolfowitz has never before expressed any kind of interest in international development. Instead, the official biography at the Pentagon website "suggests that Wolfowitz has spent more time thinking about how to position naval ships than how to deploy bed nets to nations afflicted with malaria."

Staff Accuses World Bank of "Cooking the Books" (March 14, 2005)

A US Congressional committee has said it will probe allegations of auditing irregularities at the World Bank. The announcement comes after former World Bank employees pointed to a number of problems with the Bank's accounting practices. Some of the employees have also accused the Bank of retaliating against whistleblowers. (Inter Press Service)

A Beautiful Day? (March 2, 2005)

Among second-tier politicians, veteran bureaucrats and failed business executives a surprising candidate emerges for the post of World Bank president: Irish rock star and activist Bono. "The idea that U2's Bono should become head of the World Bank is not so ridiculous as it appears. […] Bono has international credibility, a keen understanding of development issues and, through his mega-earnings with U2, a handle on money," argues this Times of London article.

US Dominates World Bank Leadership (February 18, 2005)

The World Bank likes to use words like "good governance," "consultation" and "participation" when giving advice to poor countries. Yet these principles do not apply when it comes to selecting a new president for the bank itself. Despite some transparency reforms, the best effort to open the process to public scrutiny remains a non-profit website run from another continent. (Foreign Policy In Focus)

World Bank Facilitates Transport of Illegally Cut Logs in Cambodia (February 10, 2005)

Despite its promises to promote "best practices in global trade," the World Bank continues to support rogue logging in Cambodia, reports Global Witness. Ignoring warnings from other donor agencies, the bank brokered the lifting of a log transportation ban. The poorly supervised shipping process enables companies to transport stockpiles of logs that come from dubious sources.

Internal Audit Faults World Bank's Biggest Projects (February 3, 2005)

NGOs criticizing the World Bank find unexpected support from the bank's internal audit that claims the organization's strategy is "poorly defined" and that poor countries remain inadequately represented in its decision-making. The report also criticizes the bank's global programs of "unclear objectives, roles and responsibilities." Activists call on the World Bank and its major shareholders to consider how the report's recommendations apply to the governance of the organization. (Inter Press Service)

The Politics of Water in Bolivia (January 28, 2005)

Exactly five years after popular protests against water privatization in Cochabamba, Bolivia, new revolts force the government to cancel a privatization deal with French water giant Suez. Continuing demonstrations send a strong message to the World Bank, the organization that made privatization an explicit condition of aid. (The Nation)

World Bank Job (January 11, 2005)

This Wall Street Journal Editorial says the World Bank "needs to be reshaped, with a new leader who shares Mr. Bush's view of development." The editorial illustrates the newspaper's conservative position on aid as a development tool: "There is no evidence that [foreign aid and development] are connected" says the article, and elaborates its argument that nations only develop when "local leaders decide to establish and defend a rule of law, property rights and monetary stability."

Zambia: The Hard Road to HIPC Completion – Yearender (January 6, 2005)

After 20 years of involvement with international financial institutions, Zambia joined the debt-relieving Highly Industrialized Poor Countries initiative in 2000. But critics warn that the belt-tightening conditionalities tied to International Monetary Fund and the World Bank policies threaten to offset the social advances and deepen the country's poverty. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Who's Richer, Who's Poorer? (2005)

This Panos toolkit explains what the World Bank's and International Monetary Fund's Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) are, why they matter and how they work. The toolkit is mainly intended for journalists, but it gives good background information on the PRSP system to anyone interested in international financial institutions' development policies.



World Bank Delays NGO Consultations (November 5, 2004)

"Civil society groups" boycotted several consultation meetings on the World Bank's social and environmental policies for lending because they see the meetings as simply a "public relations exercise." NGOs say the Bank's financial actions should uphold international law, and they hope the Bank will set a precedent by withholding funding from companies with bad environmental and social records. (Inter Press Service)

The World Bank in the Land of Kiosks: Community Driven Development in East Timor (October 12, 2004)

This article explores the failure of the World Bank's Community Empowerment and Local Governance Projects in East Timor. The author argues that the Bank's versions of "empowerment" and "community driven development" do not build participation or local democracy. Instead the projects reflect the institution's self-assigned and risky role as a nation builder. (Focus on the Global South)

Development Gateway: biased, unaccountable and overpriced? (September 22, 2004)

A Bretton Woods Project study criticizes the Internet portal "Development Gateway" for its close connection with the World Bank. The study concludes that the portal, initially a non-profit organization, presents biased and poor knowledge on development issues, reflecting all too often the viewpoints of the World Bank. (Bretton Woods Project)

A Happy Birthday? The Chad/Cameroon Oil Pipeline One Year On (September 23, 2004)

The case of the Chad/Cameroon Pipeline reveals that cooperation between the World Bank and multinational corporations does not create a formula for development, but rather generates a "weapon of mass poverty." This article argues that the Bank supported the establishment of oil consortiums and incorrectly considered them as development agencies. (Pambazuka News)

World Bank Researchers Find Truth, But to What End?( September 17, 2004)

This article criticizes heavily the World Bank report "Doing Business in 2005" by calling it a reflection of Latin America's leadership, which "spouts heavy concern for the poor but, in action, demonstrates a preference for keeping the bureaucracy fat and happy." The text suggests that Washington, rather than poor countries benefit from the irrationally high level of lending. (Wall Street Journal)

The World Development Report 2005: An Unbalanced Message on Investment Liberalization (August 2004)

The World Development Report 2005 focuses on foreign direct investment (FDI) and calls on poor countries to adopt liberal policies to "facilitate investment climate, which in return enhances development." This paper takes a critical stance on the World Bank document by pointing out that the report only reflects the interests of rich countries while excluding poor countries from the development debate. (Bretton Woods Project)

Fewer Conditions, World Bank Promises (August 24, 2004)

After decades of unsuccessful developmental economic policies in poor countries, the World Bank announces a reform of its controversial "adjustment lending" program. As representatives for the Bank acclaim the new set of lending rules, critics point out that the reform has flaws and represents an "attempt by the bank to transfer responsibility for its policies to borrowing governments." (Inter Press Service)

World Bank Board Disappoints NGOs Over Mining, Energy Review (August 4, 2004)

Despite the recommendations of extensive internal reviews, the World Bank decided to continue investing in oil, gas, and mining projects. NGOs have denounced the policies, claiming that they "ensure that the poverty pipeline will continue to flow." Though NGOs were hopeful about the outcome of the reviews, this decision is a reminder that the World Bank "is all talk and little action." (OneWorld)

Are PRSPs Combating Rural Poverty in Honduras and Nicaragua? Lesson for a New generations of PRPSs (August 2004)

This paper highlights the lack of successful policies to address the needs of the rural poor within the Honduran and Nicaraguan Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). The PRSPs focus mainly on improving productivity and competitiveness while failing to address inequality-issues such as access to land or public service. (Trocaire)

World Bank Challenged: Are Poor Really Helped? (July 28, 2004)

Though the World Bank is the largest financier of anti-poverty programs, the organization has "scant evidence that the myriad projects they finance have made any real difference." Though results will be non-binding, the article urges the Bank to focus the evaluation on whether projects merely fulfill program-specific goals or "actually help poor people live longer, more prosperous lives." (New York Times)

Bank Review: One-Size Fits All' Solutions Persist (July 26, 2004)

The World Bank's internal report - the 2003 Annual Review of Development Effectiveness - criticizes the Bank for the lack of a contextual policy formula and asserts that its policies are effective only in certain country dependant circumstances. In spite of its critique, the report fails to question the relevance of many World Bank programs and does not cast doubt on the "best practices" approach - the Bank's conviction of always having the unquestionably best remedy for every economic illness. (Bretton Woods Project)

World Bank Rebuked for Fossil Fuel Strategy (June 21, 2004)

The World Bank consistently recommends the use of fossil fuels in rural communities; however, this strategy will drive poor countries deeper into debt, because it is expensive and environmentally destructive to produce the fuels and connect communities to local power grids. Renewable energy sources, which have been dismissed by the World Bank, would provide more energy, at a lower cost, while causing less environmental damage. (Guardian)

The Permanent Kleptocracy (June 4, 2004)

Citing grossly misspent funds, non-transparent functioning, corruption, and "public-private partnerships," this article chides the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the politicians that support them. The article sarcastically derides the institutions' handling of social and financial programs throughout Argentina's economic crash of 2000. (Texas Observer)

US Treasury-Time for More Reform at IMF, World Bank (May 19, 2004)

Because the IMF and World Bank are financially stable, the US is calling for an evaluation to develop long-term reform. This reform would free the organizations from overlap and make them both more efficient. Additionally, the US is requesting increased surveillance and more grants for poor countries. (Reuters)

World Bank Corruption May Top $100 Billion (May 13, 2004)

Experts have calculated that since 1946, the World Bank has fraudulently used between US $26 and $130 billion of its funds. Damian Milverton, a Bank spokesperson, disputed the estimate, asserting that it had "no basis in fact," and argued that the Bank's anti-corruption efforts, such as banning particular companies from Bank contracts, were showing results. However, the Bank still fails to conduct independent audits of its ongoing projects. (Reuters)

Public Citizen Report Reveals World Bank Loans Continue to Promote Water Privatization (April 22, 2004)

A report by Public Citizen reveals that despite the series of failed World Bank projects around the world, the Bank continues to push water privatization policies in poor countries. The report shows that in 2000, 91 percent of loans included water privatization clauses, while in 2004, 100 percent of loans included such clauses. (Common Dreams)

World Bank Resumes Lending for Big Dams in India (April 22, 2004)

The World Bank faces serious criticism over the destructive nature of its lending policies for large dams in India. Peter Bosshard, Policy Director of the International Rivers Network, argues that Bank-funded dams have displaced a large number of people, flooded millions of hectares of lands and pushed many countries deeper into debt. (Janmanch)

World 'Failing Poverty Pledges' (April 23, 2004)

In a joint study on tackling poverty, the World Bank and IMF call on rich countries to "take the lead" in addressing the root causes of poverty. James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, argues that governments must "change their priorities and spend more on aid." Yet, Wolfensohn mentions nothing about the World Bank changing its neoliberal agenda. (BBC)

A Grand Deceit: The World Bank's Claims of "Good Governance" in Papua New Guinea (March 5, 2004)

This paper criticizes the World Bank's "Good Governance" policy in Papua New Guinea for representing the interests of large corporations, rather than the people. The author argues that the World Bank uses "nice-sounding principles" such as "anti-corruption" and "poverty reduction" to obscure this fact. (AID/WATCH)

Argentina Water Privatization Scheme Runs Dry (February 26, 2004)

Privatization policies by the World Bank and IMF have led 460 million people to depend on private water corporations for their daily supply. In the Rio de la Plata district in Argentina, the privatization of water resources has raised access costs and provided inadequate treatment of sewage. (Corpwatch)

World Bank, Pentagon: Global Warming Red Alert (February 22, 2004)

A report, commissioned by the Pentagon, declares that global warming "requires immediate action" following recent evidence of a "dire climate scenario" unfolding. Greenpeace criticizes that despite these warnings from the Pentagon, the World Bank continually fails to promote renewable energy in its lending programs with 94% of all energy loans devoted to oil projects.

Nobel Winners Want World Bank to Rethink Oil, Gas, and Mining Policies (February 13, 2004)

Five Nobel Peace Laureates and various NGOs demand that World Bank President James Wolfensohn adopt the recommendations of the Extractive Industries Review that he commissioned. These recommendations include an overhaul of the Bank's policies that support the oil and mining industries. Archbishop Desmond Tutu criticizes these industries as often being linked with "war, poverty, climate change, greed and, corruption." (Environment News Service)

World Bank Loans to Andhra Pradesh: Financing Bloodshed and Impunity? (February 3, 2004)

Social justice advocates fiercely object to the renewal of a World Bank loan to the Indian Government. The World Bank loan will support a neo-liberal reform program in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Activists criticize the loan as exacerbating social conflict, inequality and endorsing state brutality. (Bretton Woods Project)

Water Privatization: The World Bank's Latest Market Fantasy (January 2004)

This article reports on the World Bank's "latest obsession" of promoting the interests of global water corporations. Despite growing public opposition and evidence that privatization of water further disadvantages the poor, the World Bank increased funding of water privatization projects fourfold from 2003 to 2004. (Polaris Institute)


Why Eyes Are on Brazil (December 24, 2003)

Two World Bank officials admit that the Bank's "Washington Consensus" did not succeed in pulling Latin Americans out of poverty. It forced Latin America to endure financial austerity before seeking to improve the basic living conditions. Yet, the officials still express skepticism about Brazilian President Lula da Silva's strategy of giving social progress the priority over economic growth. (International Herald Tribune)

Reducing Poverty or Repeating Mistakes? (December 18, 2003)

In 1999, the World Bank invented the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) to replace its increasingly criticized Structural Adjustment Programs. Yet, this report argues that both mechanisms generate the same neo-liberal policy contents, such as privatization and liberalization, instead of focusing on equity issues and poverty reduction. (People Participating in Poverty Reduction)

Have Poverty? Here Are Two Plans¦ (December 17, 2003)

Cambodia's Opposition Party, the Sam Rainsy Party, strongly criticized the World Bank's plan to reduce poverty in Cambodia. The party argues that in developing the plan of action, the World Bank failed to consult with poor farmers, making up 75 percent of the population. (Panos Features)

Influential Groups Push Growing Penetration of Biotech Crops (December 4, 2003)

Supporters of sustainable agriculture fear that a growing alliance between the biotech industry and the World Bank overrides their concerns. This article exposes how GM companies such as Monsanto increase their influence within the World Bank through staff exchange programs. (Inter Press Service)

Jakarta's New Loans Tied to Reforms (December 4, 2003)

The World Bank offers to boost its loans to Indonesia if the government enhances reforms to fight corruption. During the 1990s, the World Bank supported the autocratic and corrupt regime of General Suharto with about $ 1 billion, and it plans to approach this lending level again. (Straits Times)

Crude Politics (November 17, 2003)

The World Bank approved to finance the world's most controversial oil pipeline, which will pump oil from Azerbaijan over 1,800 km to ports in Turkey. The Guardian argues that while the World Bank consulted the population to get "clean hands," its final decision only reflected commercial interests.

Interview with the New World Bank Chief Economist (November 12, 2003)

Although admitting that increased inequality has coincided with globalization and growth in many countries, the World Bank's chief economist Franí§ois Bourguignon argues that opening the world markets in the course of globalization has "often led to accelerated growth, which, in turn, has reduced poverty." (World Bank)

The Expansion of the World Bank Group's Infrastructure Agenda (October 31, 2003)

The World Bank's new push for big infrastructure projects reflects its neoliberal anti-public sector bias, argues the Citizen's Network on Essential Services. Although the Bank should have learned from experience that privatization has not always brought sustainability and development, it will shift even greater resources to encourage private sector participation in infrastructure and services.

The Axis of Oil - How a Plan for the World's Biggest Pipeline Threatens to Wreak Havoc (October 28, 2003)

The US wants to construct an oil pipeline stretching from Russian borders to the Mediterranean Sea to lessen dependence on Middle Eastern oil reserves. Critics to the plan point out that the pipeline would cause environmental havoc and could fuel ethnic tensions in the countries along the route of the pipeline. (Independent)

Do PRSPs Empower Poor Countries and Disempower the World Bank, or Is It the Other Way Round? (October 2003)

Frances Stewart and Michael Wang examined the policies and processes governments use to create the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers submitted to the World Bank. They conclude that PRSPs give the appearance of civil society involvement, but international financial institutions really design and mandate the development policies. (Queen Elizabeth House)

Bank/Fund Annual Meetings Round-up (September 25, 2003)

The Bretton Woods Project summarizes significant decisions of the World Bank / IMF annual meeting in Dubai. The World Bank urged rich countries to improve the coherence between their development and trade policies. Yet, the institutions failed to show any real commitment to debt relief and increased transparency.

African Countries Demand for Democracy in IMF, World Bank (September 25, 2003)

Poor countries urge the Bretton Woods Institutions to give them a greater voice by reforming the voting structure and composition of the institutions' executive boards. After the annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank in Dubai, African countries expressed their disappointment at the lack of progress on those fundamental issues. (Post, Zambia)

World Bank Chief Urges Economic Balance (September 23, 2003)

At the opening of the annual meeting of the World Bank and the IMF, World Bank President James Wolfensohn criticized rich countries and global imbalances in very clear words. While rich countries spend more than $300 billion a year on agricultural subsidies and $600 billion on defense, they only provide $56 billion in development assistance to poor countries. (Associated Press)

IMF, Bank Move into Middle East – Too Fast? (September 17, 2003)

The World Bank and the IMF increasingly focus on the Middle East and North Africa, urging the region's governments to adopt extensive free market economic policies. Yet, independent analysts argue that the region needs domestic reforms, not forced liberalization. (Inter Press Service)

PRSP's: "Political Space" at Whose Expense? (September 12, 2003)

The World Bank's Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers allowed NGOs to participate in the formulation of public policies. This article from the Bretton Woods Project argues, however, that this procedure benefits large international NGOs rather than local actors, hindering the possibility of "deepening democratic oversight."

World Bank Social and Environmental Policies: Abandoning Responsibility? (September 12, 2003)

The World Bank plans a major overhaul of its social and environmental policies to apply them with more flexibility. The Bretton Woods Project fears this will make it even more difficult to hold the Bank accountable for the impact of its operations.

Bank Silent on Corporate Corruption in Lesotho (September 8, 2003)

Although Lesotho convicted several Northern companies of bribing their way into the World Bank-funded Lesotho Highlands Water Project, the Bank hesitates to exclude those companies from future contracts. The Bretton Woods Project questions the sincerity of the Bank's commitment to apply the same standards to corrupt Northern and Southern companies.

Gambling With People's Lives - What the World Bank's New "High-Risk/High-Reward" Strategy Means for the Poor and the Environment. (September 2003)

The World Bank's new strategy of supporting high-risk projects in the belief that they will generate high rewards, will cause social upheaval, environmental degradation and repression, argues this report by leading environmental NGOs. Instead, the international community should support "decentralized," "low-risk" processes and projects that can yield equally high rewards. (Environmental Defense, Friends of the Earth, International Rivers Network)

World Bank Global Poverty Calculation Taken to Task (September 2003)

The World Bank fails to apply a "meaningful concept of human deprivation" in its poverty estimates. Using a poverty line of "$1 per person per day" and unrealistic purchasing power conversion factors, the World Bank concludes without sufficient justification that poverty is on the decline. (50 Years is Enough)

World Development Report 2004: Making Services Work for Poor People (September 2003)

The World Bank generally advocates the privatization of services, contributing to the corrosion of universal access to education, health care and water. Yet, in its World Development Report 2004, the Bank states that the access to basic services represents a necessary condition to help poor people acquire the means to escape poverty.

Now They Tell Us: Privatization Is No Panacea (August 6, 2003)

For two decades, the World Bank has pushed the privatization of public services. Yet, a recent World Bank report admitted that private ownership does not automatically produce better results. This Globe and Mail article encourages both developed and developing countries to think twice before selling off their remaining public assets.

World Bank Knew about Enron's Payoffs in Guatemala (August 4, 2003)

Enron used World Bank funds and political connections to privatize public goods in poor countries, while spending the profits to pay off corrupt officials and expand global operations. Consumers and tax-payers assume the fiscal responsibility for outstanding loans generated by this kind of privatization policy. (CorpWatch)

Economic Costs of AIDS (July 23, 2003)

The World Bank Group points out that the loss of human capital to HIV/AIDS will cause the economic collapse of many highly infected countries. Therefore, World Bank funding must be channeled toward local community health programs and international organizations working to preserve social fabrics.

Foreign Investors Can Now Access Justice (July 1, 2003)

The World Bank's International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitrates trade disputes between states and foreign investors. States cannot appeal the decisions made by this court, which is co-sponsored by International Chamber of Commerce and other business associations. (Daily Nation)

US Blocks Stronger African Voice at World Bank - NGO (June 26, 2003)

US executive minister to the World Bank Carol Brookins attempted to halt reforms giving African countries greater voting power. "This example of a large country throwing its weight about in global institutions shows precisely why reforms are needed.'' (Inter Press Service)

Coffee, the Deadly Embrace (June 23, 2003)

The World Bank and IMF told Nicaragua that coffee exports would grow its economy, but instead they have benefited multinational corporations at the expense of poor farmers. Fortunately, a grassroots "fair trade" movement has begun to balance the equation. (ZNet)

Pipeline's Profits May Bypass Africans (June 17, 2003)

Exxon-Mobil, the World Bank, and the US government promised that revenue from a new pipeline in Chad and Cameroon would go to education and poverty reduction, but those living in poverty have seen few benefits. (Los Angels Times)

Oil as a Curse (June 7, 2003)

Corrupt governments prevent World Bank oil project revenues from reaching African communities. The World Bank assumes only limited responsibility for how governments manage its loans, nullifying the Bank's "development" role. (New York Times)

IMF, World Bank Join Forces with WTO (May 12, 2003)

Senior officials of the IMF, World Bank and WTO will meet in Geneva to synchronize their policies on developing nations. NGOs are concerned that the common agenda will make trade and development policy more inflexible, entrenching the organizations one-sided approach to development and widening the gap between the rich and poor. (Inter Press Service)

Rich Nations Continue to Wield Power in Global Bodies (May 6, 2003)

NGOs point out the undemocratic governance structures of the UN, WTO, IMF and World Bank. Despite professing to create an equitable global community, these institutions concentrate power among world's richest nations. (Inter Press Service)

Dismal Numbers Don't Tell Whole Story, Says World Bank Africa Economist (April 28, 2003)

According to the World Bank's Chief Economist for the Africa region, many African countries are not going to reach the millennium development goals of halving poverty by 2015, "unless their performance changes in a very surprising way." (AllAfrica)

Poor Countries Overlooked at World Bank, Say NGOs (April 10, 2003)

The Iraq crisis will likely overshadow poverty, AIDS, education, and debt relief for poor countries at the World Bank and IMF's annual spring meetings in Washington, highlighting rich countries' gross over-representation at the two institutions. A Bank report says, "bluntly speaking," poor countries will not meet UN goals to halve poverty rates by 2015. (Reuters)

Rights Make Might: Ensuring Worker's Rights as a Strategy for Economic Growth (April 9, 2003)

As the World Bank and the IMF grapple with sluggish global growth and increased financial instability, the institutions continue to ignore an important tool: worker rights. A growing body of evidence shows that worker rights increase productivity, lead to larger overall output, and stabilize strong local demand. (Economic Policy Institute)

World Bank Should Revamp Loans to Mining Schemes (April 2, 2003)

A report by the World Bank's internal review body, the Operations Evaluation Department (OED), says Bank lending for mining, oil, and gas projects has overwhelmingly resulted in "bad development outcomes." The report urges the Bank to include independent audits of environmental impacts and community participation for extraction industry projects. (Inter Press Service)

The Advocates Guide to Promoting Gender Equality at the World Bank (April 2003)

This report from Women's Edge looks at the history of World Bank efforts to integrate gender equality goals into its poverty reduction strategies, and makes an assessment of the Bank's progress. The authors intend for advocates, particularly in the global "South," to use the report as a primer for pushing the Bank's gender equality agenda forward.

Too Hot to Handle? The Absence of Trade Policy from PRSPs (April 2003)

Few economists or development advocates would deny that international trade plays an enormous role in any country's development strategy, yet Christian Aid finds that the World Bank and IMF's Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRPS) scarcely mention trade at all. This Christian Aid report calls on the institutions to integrate trade analyses into PRSPs.

World Bank Supports Community-Driven Development in Bangladesh (March 18, 2003)

The World Bank approves $18.2 million credit for a project to help poor and vulnerable groups in Bangladesh increase their ownership of local development initiatives. The project is largely a result of an NGO campaign, empowering women and the impoverished to become more self sufficient. (World Bank)

The Water Crisis Is Taking A Toll Worse Than Any War (March 18, 2003)

"More people are likely to suffer and die this decade from lack of clean water than from all armed conflicts combined," writes a managing director of the World Bank in the International Herald Tribune. He argues that the world's failure to address the water crisis has only to do with political will and focus, not ideological conflict.

World Bank Launches Initiative To Help Rural Poor With Increased Lending, Lobbying (February 20, 2003)

A new World Bank initiative aims to protect poor farmers from the negative impact of rich countries' agricultural subsidies. The Bank says it is answering the UN's call to pay special attention to the plight of the rural poor because "the industrial world is still not doing anything significant about it." (Associated Press)

World Bank Bashes Bloated, Burdensome Aid Donors (February 20, 2003)

In advance of an international aid conference in Rome, the World Bank made an appeal to aid donors to cut the "red tape" and coordinate their efforts. The Bank recommends that donors swallow pride of ownership and pool funds into fewer central agencies so that aid can be distributed more efficiently. (Inter Press Service)

World Bank Lends Support to Unions (February 12, 2003)

"Efforts by the World Bank to reinvent itself, in the face of mounting protests over globalisation, have seen it embrace an unlikely icon - the union movement," writes the BBC online. A Bank report "discovers" that unionized workers receive higher pay and better working conditions than non-unionized workers.

The "Aguas" Tango: Cashing in on Buenos Aires' Privatization (February 6, 2003)

In 1993, Argentina ceded to World Bank, IMF and US pressure and granted the Buenos Aires water utility to a consortium controlled by French corporate giants Suez and Vivendi. The concession enriched a group of officials in former President Carlos Menem's government, without fulfilling its commitments toward the poor. Yet, the World Bank called this privatization an "unprecedented success" and reproduced it in several countries. (Center for Public Integrity)

Metered to Death: How a Water Experiment Caused Riots and a Cholera Epidemic (February 5, 2003)

In South Africa, water privatization and policies of "total cost recovery" caused more misery than development, says the Center for Public Integrity. Water companies and World Bank economists promised that privatization would help to build the country's economy and improve water services. Yet it forced thousands of poor people to seek water from polluted rivers and lakes and led to South Africa's worst outbreak of cholera.

Multinationals Ride Wave of Water Privatization, Investigation Finds (February 4, 2003)

A report from the Center for Public Integrity reveals that in the last twelve years, transnational corporations have extended their grasp on the world's water utilities fivefold, raking in profits upwards of $5 trillion. The report also implicates the World Bank for promoting water privatization at the expense of poor people. (OneWorld US)

Promoting Privatization (February 3, 2003)

Despite World Bank contentions that it does not force privatization on the poor, research shows that privatization plays an ever-increasing role in bank lending policies. (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)

World Bank Aid for Poor Arrives Amid Protests (January 29, 2003)

Amidst protests led by organizations of unemployed workers, the World Bank signed a 600 million dollar loan to provide urgent relief to struggling Argentine families. Protestors demand broader coverage and more transparency of the aid program. (Inter Press Service)

Choosing a Better World (January 22, 2003)

In reference to the upcoming World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, World Bank President James Wolfensohn commends civil society for helping to shift Bank policy and world consensus on sustainable development, transparency, and accountability. Co-opting the rhetoric of the global justice movement, he calls for "a global system based on equity, human rights and social justice." (Inter Press Service)

Will the World Bank Go Green? (January 21, 2003)

The World Bank announced it will reconsider aid to Cambodia after the government expelled watchdog organization Global Witness for revealing corrupt logging practices. However, Global Witness says the Bank must bear a portion of the blame for its complicity with the Cambodian government and its refusal to consult with villagers. (Asia Times)

Can the World Bank Enforce its Own Conditions? (January 16, 2003)

World Bank loans are laden with conditionalities that mandate policy and institutional reforms, but few borrowers actually comply. This paper explores the argument that powerful political and institutional pressures to lend aggressively compel the Bank to approve unwise and ineffective loans, reducing the rate of compliance. (World Learning)

Tools for Advocacy: Convergence of the Trade and Finance Agendas (January 7, 2003)

This paper reveals a close collusion between the World Bank, the WTO and the IMF in accelerating investment liberalization in developing countries. This agenda will deprive developing countries of important regulatory tools to promote local employment and production. (Citizen's Network on Essential Services)

Good Governance and the World Bank (January 2003)

This research paper reviews the effect of the World Bank's recent good governance agenda, and concludes that the Bank's market-centric approach and unwillingness to fully consider the role of political factors has resulted in inadequate or inappropriate reforms. (Bretton Woods Project)


Iran Receives New World Bank Loan (December 20, 2002)

A 2 million dollar World Bank investment loan to Iran may widen the recent rift between the Bank and the United States, its most influential shareholder. The US has consistently voted against Bank loans to Iran. (BBC)

Consumers International's V Regional Conference Inaugurated (November 26, 2002)

Consumers International, a large network of consumer organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, will host a conference to discuss how the World Bank and the IMF have strayed from their original goal: to advocate for a fair society in which the benefits of economic prosperity are widely distributed.

Activists View Argentina's World Bank Default as Positive (November 15, 2002)

Argentina's default on its World Bank loan may in fact help the country as it slowly recovers from economic crisis by making more money available for social and health programs. Some analysts say that the default sends the World Bank and the IMF the message that their "savage" policy requirements are unacceptable. (Inter Press Service)

A Free Press is Crucial in Overcoming Global Poverty (November 14, 2002)

A free and independent press furthers social and economic development, while promoting transparency and the spread of knowledge. Observing that media privatization can often limit valuable perspectives, Joseph Stiglitz and Roumeen Islam declare that a free press exposes government and private sector corruption. (International Herald Tribune)

Villagers Beg World Bank for Logging Plans (November 12, 2002)

Villagers living in Cambodia's forests requested access to World Bank logging plans for the next 25 years, only to be told that copies of the plans were in short supply and the color-coded maps available only in black and white. The villagers say the Bank and logging corporations have never consulted them. (Cambodia Daily)

India: Politics of Starvation (November 12, 2002)

When the Indian People's Union for Civil Liberties discovered that indigenous people in Rajasthan had died of starvation while subsidized grain rotted in storage, the Indian government hurried to absolve itself of responsibility. However, investigators blame both India's "anti-poor" policies and World Bank liberalization programs for the crisis. (Asia Times)

World Bank Continues to Back Polluting Incinerators (November 11, 2002)

The World Bank recently set up a multi-million dollar fund to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, yet it continues to fund projects that include toxin-emitting waste incinerators. Monica Williams of Essential Action says, "''They are either willfully deceiving people, or simply, their right hand does not know what the left is doing." (Inter Press Service)

Zoellick Faults World Bank on Trade Assistance (November 7, 2002)

US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick censures the World Bank for not doing enough to develop export capacity in developing countries, despite its promotion of trade liberalization. At the same time, the World Bank has published studies criticizing the US for maintaining trade barriers to poor countries' goods. (Reuters)

Fighting the Privatization of Health Care in El Salvador (November/December 2002)

350 doctors in El Salvador have illegally gone on strike to protest the government's plan, supported by the World Bank, to privatize El Salvador's health care. Tens of thousands of people have mobilized mass rallies against the plan, which would likely limit access to essential health care to poor people. (Upstream Journal)

Real Impact Of New Poverty Analysis Uncertain (November/December 2002)

The World Bank and IMF's new Poverty and Social Impact Analysis will require the institutions to analyze the impact of loans on poverty in recipient countries. Advocacy organizations cautiously support the initiative, and warn against letting it enter the "graveyard of Bank schemes which have promised much but yielded little benefit." (Bretton Woods Project)

The World Bank Defends its Record on Human Rights (November 2002)

Human Rights NGOs criticize the World Bank for lending to governments that commit human rights abuses against their citizens. World Bank officials respond by pointing out that the institution's articles of agreement forbid political interference in the domestic affairs of member governments. (Advocacy Project)

The Rich World's Veto on Reform (October 15, 2002)

George Monbiot argues that a "dictatorship of vested interests is locked into the system" of global governance in the World Bank, the IMF, and the WTO. Those with the most power to make progressive change for social justice have the least incentive to do so. (Guardian)

World Bank Rejects Controversial Gold Mine Project (October 10, 2002)

The World Bank announced it will not fund a gold mine project in Romania that would have turned the Rosia Montana valley into "an unlined cyanide storage 'pond.'" Romanian economists and environmentalists applaud the decision. (CEE Bankwatch Network)

The IFI Threat to East Timorese Economic Independence (October 8, 2002)

Dr. Tim Anderson from Aidwatch argues that international financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF could seriously undermine East Timor's right to self determination and development. He warns that the IFIs' interests are more heavily aligned with corporations and the wealthy than with the people of East Timor. (East Timor Action Network)

The MDG Drumbeat Gets Louder – But Is the World Bank Listening? (October 7, 2002)

More money flows out of Africa each year in debt payments than flows in as aid, seriously undermining efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015. However, the World Bank and the IMF refuse to acknowledge the link between unsustainable debt and the MDG. (Jubilee Research)

World Bank Urged to Pay for its "Mistake" in Mozambique (October 2, 2002)

Mozambique's cashew processing industry demands that the World Bank compensate for millions of dollars in losses. Cashew industry representatives blame World Bank liberalization policies for destroying the industry. (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks )

Corruption Corrodes Development Banks (October 1, 2002)

The World Bank calls on developing countries to fight corruption as a means to development, but this article shows that corruption pervades the Bank itself. (Insight on the News)

IMF Blamed for Malawi Famine (October 2002)

A report from the World Development Movement reveals that IMF and World Bank enforced policies are responsible for turning a food shortage into large-scale famine in Malawi.

Nepal's Woes: Instability, Inequality, Insurgency and the IMF-World Bank (October 2002)

The IMF and the World Bank implemented "homogenous economic "prescriptions'" in Nepal during the 1980s and 90s that worsened the economy and exacerbated the rural-urban divide. Although the institutions cannot be entirely blamed for Nepal's current crisis, their failure to take the country's unique socio-economic structure into consideration worsened the situation. (IDEAs)

From the Quarantine Against Greed (September 30, 2002)

The World Bank and the IMF cannot ignore signs that their institutions are "sick." Despite the fact that protests in Washington were admittedly small, evidence of the institutions' failure to decrease poverty continues to mount. (New Internationalist)

Making the Case For Bangladesh (September 30, 2002)

Developing countries know that the World Bank and IMF prescribe policies that hurt poor people and the environment. Still, the finance minister of Bangladesh reluctantly implements the institutions' reforms, suggesting that it may be "better to try to use the system to our advantage from within . . . than to fight it from outside. (Washington Post)

African Voices in the Streets of Washington (September 30, 2002)

African civil society leaders speak in Washington about privatization, NEPAD, and why Africa would be better off without the World Bank. (AllAfrica)

Rich Nations Are Criticized for Enforcing Trade Barriers (September 29, 2002)

Although the World Bank and IMF continued to promote privatization and free trade in developing countries during their annual meeting in Washington DC, they also criticized the developed world for unfair subsidies and trade barriers. (New York Times)

World Bank's Corporate Fossil Fuel Welfare Kings Revealed in New IPS Study (September 26, 2002)

A report from the Institute for Policy Studies reveals the World Bank funneled billions of dollars in loans to oil and natural gas corporations that now face charges for "alleged accounting irregularities, energy market manipulation, fraud, bribery, human rights abuses, or other practices."

World Bank, IMF Conditions Punish Innocent People (September 26, 2002)

This article from the Malawi Insider calls on Malawi to "free itself" from the "indirect rule" of the World Bank and IMF and to develop policies in the interests of the Malawian people.

They Are Systematically Destroying Economies (September 26, 2002)

In an interview with Socialist Worker, George Monbiot argues that World Bank and IMF policies "favor not the interests of the poor world--which supposedly these two institutions are trying to help--but the interests of Wall Street brokers, foreign multinationals, big business based in the rich world."

Sluggish US Economy a Global Concern (September 25, 2002)

The World Bank and the IMF's biggest headache concerns not developing countries but the United States and Europe. During the institutions' annual meeting in Washington, they will tackle unfair subsidies, trade barriers, and huge trade imbalances in the developed world. (New York Times)

Who Controls the Loot? (September 25, 2002)

The UNDP's Human Development Report 2002 criticizes the World Bank, the IMF, and the WTO for undemocratic decision-making processes that exclude developing countries. The report calls for increased transparency and accountability at all three institutions. (ATTAC)

The Enron of the Developing World (September 25, 2002)

The demise of Enron demonstrated the failure of "marketization, deregulation and privatization, and the opportunities for market manipulation offered by inadequate regulation." The World Bank and the IMF have yet to learn that lesson. (Washington Post)

A Critique of the World Bank Water Resources Strategy (September 19, 2002)

The Citizens' Network for Essential Services argues that the World Bank and other multilateral development banks advance "private, rather than public interests, in ways that lack transparency or accountability."

Turkish Oil Project Raises Human Rights, Governance Concerns (September 17, 2002)

The World Bank plans to support an oil pipeline project with the help of unlimited Turkish security protection against "terrorists." Kurdish human rights groups argue that Turkey may use the ambiguous language of terrorism to commit human rights violations. (Bretton Woods Project)

Canadian Company Found Guilty of Corruption in Africa (September 17, 2002)

The Lesotho High Court convicted the Canadian firm Acres of paying bribes to win the contract for a World Bank-supported dam project in the country. The conviction raises questions about the Bank's financial support of multinational corporations and its anti-corruption policies. (Halifax Initiative)

World Bank Agrees With US Treasury On Aid Results (September 11, 2002)

The World Bank acceded to US Treasury demands to account for the money it spends on reducing poverty. The Bank will improve efforts to assess the progress and success of its projects in developing countries. (Reuters)

Saitoti Slams World Bank Policies (September 6, 2002)

Former World Bank vice-president George Saitoti denounced the Bretton Woods institutions for disregarding the interests of impoverished African countries. He accuses the World Bank and the IMF of formulating policies that "expose more people to poverty instead of reducing poverty." (East African Standard)

World Bank Pushed to Open Up TNC Arbitration Process (September 2, 2002)

NGOs demand public access to the World Bank Group "secret trade court" that will rule on a dispute between Bolivia and an American transnational water company. (Bretton Woods Project)

Trade Union Proposals for Reforming the International Financial System (September 2002)

This background paper from the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) discusses the origins of the Bretton Woods system and its failures. The paper suggests several reforms such as a currency transaction tax, fair debt arbitration, and Chilean-style "speed bumps."

Digging to Development? A Historical Look at Mining and Economic Development (September 2002)

This report from Oxfam America shows that mining did not contribute significantly to industrialized countries' development, and argues that current World Bank mining projects in developing countries cause serious social and environmental problems.

A Dision of Dystopia (August 22, 2002)

The World Bank's Development Report 2003 provides a nightmarish prophecy of "an increasingly dysfunctional" global society. It predicts a fourfold increase in the size of the world economy at a price of environmental catastrophe and social breakdown by mid-century, if we continue living as we do. (Guardian)

Don't Wait for Crisis, IMF And UN Need Overhaul (August 15, 2002)

The Herald argues that the UN, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank need urgent reform. Created and shaped in times of crisis over 50 years ago, these institutions do not meet today's challenges. (Herald)

DR Congo Wins World Bank Aid (August 7, 2002)

"The World Bank has agreed to lend the Democratic Republic of Congo $410m […] to help get the country back on its feet." The country's per capita income of 23 cents per day makes it one of the poorest countries in the world. (BBC)

World Bank Ups Its Lending (August 1, 2002)

The World Bank has increased its loans to developing countries by 13% since last year. In the financial year that ended in June, the Bank loaned out $19.5 billion dollars. Turkey is the Bank's biggest borrower, with Brazil, Pakistan and Argentina following closely behind. (BBC)

Ghana Water Mission Urges Further, Open Debate (August 2002)

An international fact-finding mission released a report concluding that World Bank-supported water privatization plans would fail to "expand access to clean and affordable water for the people of Ghana." The report argues for open debate on alternative solutions for water management in Ghana. (Bretton Woods Project)

Improving Global Economic Governance (August 2002)

This South Center paper shows that the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank lack "basic elements of good institutional governance" such as equal representation and transparency. The paper suggests reforms for the institutions' respective roles and specific policies.

Marketing the Earth: The World Bank and Sustainable Development (August 2002)

This report from Friends of the Earth and the Halifax Initiative argues that World Bank actions since the Rio Summit have undermined sustainable development initiatives. The report issues recommendations that would "render the World Bank unrecognizable."

A Joint Submission to the World Bank and IMF Review of HIPC and Debt Sustainability (August 2002)

This joint report by Cafod, Christian Aid, Oxfam UK, and Eurodad evaluates the HIPC initiative's role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The authors argue that debt relief can be one of the most efficient and effective forms of financing for development.

Death On the Doorstep of the Summit (August 2002)

This Oxfam report argues that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank contribute to poverty and food insecurity. It stresses the need for reform in agriculture policy with the help of parliaments, small farmers' representatives and civil society groups.

Managing Sustainability World Bank-Style (August 2002)

The Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Bretton Woods Project critically evaluate the World Bank's "World Development Report 2003," representing the Bank's contribution to the Johannesburg Summit.

Bank Declaration of Human Rights (July 24, 2002)

The World Bank intends to incorporate human rights strategies into poverty reduction plans. However, problems related to inconsistency and accountability seem difficult to solve. (Bretton Woods Project)

World Bank And IMF Reform Vital To End Poverty, Says UN (July 24, 2002)

UNDPs Human Development Report has called for an "end to rich countries' dominance of the institutions of global financial governance." The organization believes that poor countries must have a bigger voice with regards to the issues that affect them. This entails an end to veto rights of the five permanent members of the Security Council and calls for the UN Economic and Social council to act as a watchdog over the institutions. (Guardian)

East Timor Joins IMF and World Bank (July 23, 2002)

The world's youngest nation has joined the IMF and the World Bank, becoming the 184th member of the twin organizations. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur)

World Spank (June 7, 2002)

"When World Bank president James Wolfensohn gives MIT's commencement address, he will face not only street protesters, but a city that is formally boycotting purchase of the bank's bonds." (Boston Phoenix)

IMF and World Bank: Out of Control (May 14, 2002)

A coalition of US global justice and development organizations demands "that if the United States decides to contribute to IDA - a near certainty - that it also work for policies that will reduce the IMF and Bank's power." (Common Dreams)

US Faces Calls for Untied Loans to Help Launch East Timor's Statehood (May 10, 2002)

The US and other rich nations should provide loans to East Timor so it does not have to seek loans from the IMF and World Bank. These institutions constantly suffer criticism for creating unsustainable debt and ineffective policies. (OneWorld)

Citizens Have a Right to Determine Their Destiny (May 6, 2002)

Kenyan government officials criticize the IMF and World Bank for constantly "shifting the goal posts" and "insisting that things must be done a certain way - their way." Lawmakers also express concern over these institutions' lack of accountability. (East African Standard)

Land Reform: An Evaluation of World Bank Strategies (May 3, 2002)

The World Bank's market-dependent land redistribution policies fail to improve the lives of the landless poor, who cannot repay the corresponding loans. Land redistribution serves as a "basic prerequisite for…development that would allow a nation to ensure a decent standard of living for all its citizens." (IDEAS)

The Two Faces of Globalization: Against Globalization As We Know It (May 2002)

World Bank researcher Branko Milanovic directly attacks the Bank's traditional assumption that openness and trade liberalization lead to growth and, subsequently, poverty reduction. Instead, Milanovic argues that proponents of unbridled liberalization systematically ignore the malignant effects of globalization. (World Bank, Research Department)

New World Bank Reports Confirm that the HIPC Initiative is Failing (April 29, 2002)

Jubilee Research examines the failures of the World Bank's Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Even countries who have completed the program remain at an unsustainable level of debt.

Kenya MPs Rebel Against World Bank and IMF (April 28, 2002)

Meeting with World Bank and IMF officials, Kenyan legislators attack the Bretton Woods institutions' policies of "neo-colonialism and slavery." Lawmakers argue against high interest rates, lack of transparency and harmful agricultural policies. (Daily Nation)

Mexican Legislation Strikes a Blow Against Privatization, Secrecy (April 28, 2002)

Mexican lawmakers took a stand against the IMF, the World Bank and the US by passing legislation ensuring citizens' access to government documents and rejecting a plan to privatize the electrical system. These decisions contradict "the Bush agenda of privatization, corporate deregulation, and domestic secrecy." (Common Dreams)

Controversy Continues to Dog Major World Bank Projects (April 25, 2002)

The World Bank must search for new ways of assessing its projects rather than repeatedly making the same mistakes. Critics deem Uganda's Bujagali Dam project and Tanzania's Bulyanhulu Gold Mine project "economically unsound." (AllAfrica)

World Bank, Critics See Troubling Poverty Trends (April 22, 2002)

The World Bank's World Development Indicators 2002 projects the world will not meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving the poverty rate by 2015. The report's gloomy forecast seems to be one of the only matters on which the World Bank and its civil-society critics agree. (Inter Press Service)

The Challenge of World Poverty (April 22, 2002)

Rich nations' recent pledges to increase foreign aid will force the IMF and World Bank to make difficult decisions on institutional changes, the debt crisis and trade issues in order to make foreign aid effective. (Economist Global Agenda)

World Bank Chief, NGOs Wrangle Over Access (April 20, 2002)

The World Bank attempts to deflect criticism over its failure to adequately consult civil society by claiming that national governments insist "unaccountable groups" should not be involved in negotiations at the international level. (Inter Press Service)

Prospects for Good Global Governance (April 15, 2002)

Walden Bello traces the origins of the legitimacy crisis facing the World Bank, IMF, WTO and G-7. He proposes a new "decentralized, pluralistic system of global economic governance" to replace these undemocratic institutions. (Focus on the Global South)

Plundering Peter to Pay Paul (April 4, 2002)

Yellow Times details the ways in which IMF and World Bank programs damage the economies of borrowing countries while serving the interests of rich countries, particularly by providing the latter with cheap labor.

World Bank, IMF Threw Colombia Into Tailspin (April 4, 2002)

This OpEd shows how IMF and World Bank programs in Colombia led the country into deeper poverty and civil war. (Baltimore Sun)

Responsible Reform of the World Bank (April 2002)

A coalition of civil society organizations presents concrete proposals to reform the World Bank. The reforms focus on effectiveness, accountability, gender equality, workers' rights and environmentally-safe policies. (Bretton Woods Project)

Can We Discern the Effect of Globalization on Income Distribution? (April 2002)

World Bank researcher Branko Milanovic finds that trade liberalization and openness benefit the rich, not the poor, in the world's most impoverished countries. His research challenges much of traditional World Bank policy. (World Bank, Research Department)

New Strategies, Old Loan Conditions (April 2002)

The Bretton Woods Project questions whether IMF and World Bank loan policies support a government's own poverty reduction plans. In Uganda, new loans do not account for the negative social impact of previous structural adjustment programs.

A Critique of the IMF's Role & Policy Conditionality (April 2002)

According to Third World Network, the IMF wants recipient countries to have more ownership of its policies than in the past. To achieve this, the IMF must overhaul its policymaking process to provide more democratic country participation and appropriate conditions.

Hazardous to Health: The World Bank and IMF in Africa (April 2002)

World Bank and IMF policies, which sacrifice social programs for economic integration and privatization, have undermined significant health care advances in Africa and increase the spread of infectious diseases. (Africa Action)

Writing From the Inside, an Economist Says the World Bank Is Failing Its Mission (March 20, 2002)

World Bank economist William Easterly criticizes the World Bank for unsuccessful programs in developing countries. He explains that the institution still has not figured out how to make poor economies grow. (Washington Post)

As Global Lenders Refocus, a Needy World Waits (March 17, 2002)

The New York Times provides an overview of reform within and criticism of the World Bank and the IMF.

Why the IMF and World Bank Fail in Kenya (March 15, 2002)

The East African argues that while structural reform and good governance are laudable in principle, the conditions necessary to implement such reforms do not exist in developing countries, and the IMF's neo-classical reforms cannot work effectively until after an economic recovery.

World Bank Urges Increased Help to Poor Countries (March 13, 2002)

Negotiations intensified as the World Bank released a report showing that poor nations are likely to benefit from the expected global economic recovery, but not strongly enough to make large dents in global poverty.

World Bank, In Report, Defends Its Use of Aid (March 12, 2002)

Though Bush wants to convert many of the World Bank's loans into grants, European leaders have resisted, saying the real problem is that the United States devotes too little money to fighting poverty. Now the World Bank has released a controversial report defending its track record. (New York Times)

Milwaukee City Council Endorses Boycott of World Bank Bonds (March 6, 2002)

The Milwaukee city council has endorsed the World Bank Bonds Boycott, a growing global initiative for fundamental changes in the World Bank. The campaign has been successful in convincing more than four dozen institutional investors to commit not to buy World Bank bonds. (World Bank Bonds Boycott Campaign)

Ghanaians Contest Bank-Backed Water Privatization (March/April 2002)

Many Ghanaian organizations are fighting the World Bank's water privatization package. Such measures will make water too expensive for poor people and will actually benefit foreign companies more than Ghana's citizens. (Bretton Woods Project)

Parliamentarians Gear Up to Increase Scrutiny of World Bank (March/April 2002)

As the World Bank Parliamentary Network prepares for its annual conference, this article discusses the Network's goals to increase access to World Bank information and organize more field visits. (Bretton Woods Project)

Disclosure, or Deception? Multilateral Institutions and Access to Information (March 2002)

The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank systematically deny information to the public, thus obstructing citizens' ability to participate in the development process. (Focus on the Global South)

Taken for Granted? US Proposals to Reform the World Bank's IDA Examined (March 2002)

US and European NGOs disagree on the US proposal to provide grants, instead of loans, through the International Development Association. This paper highlights the proposal's main issues and presents the arguments on both sides of this heated debate. (Bretton Woods Project)

Treasury Chief Accuses World Bank of Harming Poor Countries (February 21, 2002)

Some official say they fear that the Bush administration's proposal of converting "up to 50 percent" of the World Bank's $6 billion in annual loans to poor countries to grants could undermine the World Bank by forcing it to give away its capital. None of the other G7 countries have pledged to convert more than 16 percent, as compared with about 1 percent now, to grant aid. (New York Times)

US and EU Squabble over Aid Policy (February 20, 2002)

US Treasury Secretary O'Neill said "to hell with" the Europeans' demand for a World Bank 10% grant cap, urging an increase to 50%. The EU is worried that the bank's coffers may be depleted and urge an increase in overall aid, which the US vehemently rejects. (Reuters)

World Bank Report Acknowledges Free Trade No Secret to Growth (February 12, 2002)

In a new report, "for the first time, the World Bank acknowledges that trade liberalization may not be an effective instrument, not only for stimulating growth, but even for integration in world markets." Indigenous growth strategies and trade liberalization often prove to be unconnected. (Straits Times Interactive)

Egypt Reaps Benefits of Strategic Importance in US$10bn of Aid (February 7, 2002)

Afghanistan's reconstruction and the global AIDS fund remain under-sourced, yet donors have pledged over $10 billion to Egypt 2002-2004, the world's second largest recipient of aid. (World Bank)

NGOs Stress Need to Reform World Bank and IMF (January 21, 2002)

NGOs from all over the world recommends radical reforms of the international financial structure. The new system should be based on participation, accountability, responsibility and transparency. Today's World Bank and International Monetary Fund lack all of these qualities. (Inter Press Service)

Bank Plans Private Sector Shake-Up (January 17, 2002)

The World Bank's new Private Sector Development Strategy "owes everything to intense US pressure" and will not work in the interest of the poor. Instead, it includes the expansion of private sector provision of services based on companies views of business obstacles in particular countries. (Bretton Woods Project)

Bank Staff Criticize "Thought Police" (January 17, 2002)

The World Bank experiences internal criticism due to censorship and a bad self-governing structure. Several leading economists have left the bank after criticizing it for giving bureaucratic conformity priority over important research findings. (Bretton Woods Project)

Bush Seeks Aid for World Bank, Conditionally (January 13, 2002)

The US, the biggest contributor to the World Bank's budget, makes productivity a condition for increased development aid. The US Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill seeks ways of measuring results and demands "successful" aid. (New York Times)

Blinding With Science or Encouraging Debate? How World Bank Analysis Determines PRSP Policies (2002)

The World Bank carries out studies that "dominate the policy process at the expense of civil society inputs." As a result of this inside "knowledge" work, the Bank excludes recipient countries from participating in formulating development strategies. (Bretton Woods Project / World Vision)

Reducing Poverty: Is the World Bank's Strategy Working? (2002)

This report from the Panos Institute analyzes the experiences of three African countries with the World Bank's Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS). The report shows that governments and civil society lack a sense of "ownership" of PRSs.

Cornering the Market: The World Bank and Trade Capacity Building (2002)

The World Bank increasingly integrates trade into its poverty reduction strategies, "lock(ing) the trade liberalization agenda into national development plans of the most vulnerable countries." The Bank promotes trade liberalization despite evidence that openness does not necessarily lead to growth or poverty reduction. (Bretton Woods Project)


Structural Adjustment - A Major Cause of Poverty (December 26, 2001)

The Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) of The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund result in increased debt and poverty in many developing countries. The policies often include cut backs in social spending and development. (Global Issues)

World Bank, Globalization and Poverty (December 18, 2001)

This article criticizes the World Bank and its recent report "Globalization, Growth and Poverty". The author argues that the Bank and its major shareholders use the "Globalization thesis" to pursue policies of the Washington Consensus and trade liberalization. (Third World Network)

World Bank Backs Commodity Hedging (December 18, 2001)

The World Bank sets up a mechanism to cushion developing countries from volatility in commodity prices. The Bank expects the hedging mechanism to be ready in February 2002. (BBC News)

Creating Poverty (December 15, 2001)

Former World Bank employee Theodore E. Downing criticizes the World Bank and its revised involuntary resettlement policies. He argues that the Bank clings to policies that its own studies have found to be flawed and to be potentially in violation of human rights. (ted-downing)

World Bank and IMF Anti-Poverty Schemes Still Rile Grassroots (December 14, 2001)

World Bank's and International Monetary Fund's economic prescriptions focused on growth do not necessarily reduce poverty, show several independent reports. On the contrary, poverty and the gaps between rich and poor are rising. (OneWorld)

Tenders: World Bank Under Spotlight (December 11, 2001)

The Kenyan government accuses the World Bank of embezzling trust funds. The bank admits to internal investigations leading to dismissals of staff and the banning of a number of consulting firms and consultants involved in Bank projects in Kenya. (East African Standard )

Women Key To Effective Development, Bank Says (December 7, 2001)

According to the World Bank, countries which promote women's rights enjoy lower poverty rates, faster economic growth and less corruption than countries that do not. "The evidence shows that education, health, productivity, credit and governance work better when women are involved."

The Policy Roots of Economic Crisis and Poverty (November, 2001)

This paper presents the results of a joint World Bank and civil society review of the impact of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) on poverty. The findings show how SAPs result in destruction of national productive capacity and intensification of poverty. (SAPRIN)

New Cure For Battered Commodity Producers (November 23, 2001)

A World Bank-convened international task force promotes extended modern market instruments to help commodity producers in developing countries. These producers have generally suffered from fluctuating world prices and earlier efforts to help them have failed.(Gemini News)

Renowned US Economists Denounce Corporate-Led Globalization (November 18, 2001)

Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, and internationally acclaimed economist Paul Krugman criticize the World Bank, IMF and World Trade Organization. They argue that these organizations pursue hypocritical, dogmatic and undemocratic policies influenced by big business. (Grassroots Globalization Network)

New Thinking About How to Help the Poorest Help Themselves (November 17, 2001)

Three vice presidents of the World Bank argue the importance of equity, growth, participation, and clean governance to fight poverty. The world needs a new approach to development, where quality should be in the forefront, not growth. (International Herald Tribune)

Another Plea for More Aid to Poor (October 19, 2001)

World Bank and International Monetary Fund sum up weekend meeting with plea for increasing aid to developing countries. According to World Bank's President James Wolfensohn, more countries, except the US, now realize that aid "is not just charity; it's self interest". (Washington Post)

Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries 2002 (October, 2001)

The World Bank reports on the global economic environment and its implications for the developing countries over the next decade. This report argues for reforming the global world trade system to promote development and poverty reduction.

Rich Nations Have Been Too Insensitive to Poverty (November 1, 2001)

The New York Times criticizes the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and their neo-liberal policies. This article argues that these policies lead to more income inequality and that the rich world should "cough up some serious money for the poor".

Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries 2002 (October, 2001)

The World Bank reports on the global economic environment and its implications for the developing countries over the next decade. This report argues for reforming the global world trade system to promote development and poverty reduction.

IMF, World Bank Plan to Hold Meeting in Ottawa Next Month (October 18, 2001)

The IMF and the World Bank's meeting in Washington, which was postponed due to the attacks on September 11th, will take place in Ottawa on November 17 and 18, 2001. Anti-globalization protests are expected, although not necessarily confrontational. (Washington Post)

The Globalizer Who Came In From the Cold (October 10, 2001)

An article based on former Senior Vice President of the World Bank and Nobel Prize winner 2001 Joe Stiglitz's knowledge of the Bank and the IMF's "poverty reduction strategy". A one-size-fits-all strategy, which in fact "undermines democracy" and does more harm than good. (Observer)

Rich Nations Can Remove World Poverty as a Source of Conflict (October 6, 2001)

The president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, calls for a fight against poverty. This means improving the climate for investment, productivity, growth, and of course, the reduction of trade barriers. The question is: who makes the rules? (International Herald Tribune)

The American Way (October 2, 2001)

In light of the recent terrorist attacks, the author considers the statistical association between debt –catastrophically managed by the IMF and World Bank-- and conflict. "The historical record is clear that war creates debt; the question is whether debt can also lead to war." (Cape Cod Times)

Putting Poverty Reduction First (October 2001)

The European Network on Debt and Development creates a formula for servicing the Highly Indebted Poor Countries' (HIPC) debt with poverty-reduction as the top priority. The IMF/World Bank's HIPC Initiative does not account for resources countries need to reduce poverty by investing in human and social capital.

IMF, World Bank Principles Face a New Policy Threat (September 30, 2001)

Certain countries, otherwise not desirable recipients of aid, receive loans if they are allies in the war against terrorism. It seems like the IMF and the Bank are now repeating some of the big mistakes of the cold war – "propping up inefficient, corrupt regimes and piling loans on countries that may well fall deeper into debt". (Washington Post)

Against the Workers: How IMF and World Bank Policies Undermine Labor Power and Rights (September, 2001)

The IMF imposes loan requirements that strip away legal protections for workersand massively cut government expenditures. These, in turn, often widen the wage gap as well as undermine prospects for economic growth. (Multinational Monitor)

Why We Protest (September 10, 2001)

The IMF and World Bank undermine democracy in fundamental ways. The two institutions insist that their (flawed) policies are necessary to promote economic growth but the results in Latin America and Africa clearly show otherwise. (Common Dreams News Center)

World Bank Presses Inquiry on Economist Who Dissents (September 7, 2001)

William Easterly, one of the World Bank's top economists, is under disciplinary investigation for publicly criticizing the bank's poverty reduction policies. Bank president James Wolfensohn is asserting greater control over internal dissent in the face of mounting criticism both from the outside and within the ranks of the bank's own employees. (New York Times)

IMF, World Bank Count Cost of Protest (September 4, 2001)

Washington DC has allocated $29 million for a security plan to prevent the riotous scenes in Genoa from being replayed during the next World Bank and IMF meeting on September 29-30. It is highly questionable whether such costs can be justified in order to use a public police force as "private security for unpopular financial institutions." (World Bank Development News)

What Are We For? (September 6, 2001)

Globalization has led to increased poverty, injustice, subordination, anti-solidarity and ecological disasters. New institutions are needed to replace the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO as they serve strictly the interests of the elite. (ZNet)

Oil Adds Fuel to Unrest (August 23, 2001)

The World Bank's decision to finance the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline has elicited criticism and protest. Revenue from the project will likely flow to dictator Idriss Deby, who has spent $4.5 million (U.S.) of oil industry money to buy arms and finance his war against rebel guerillas. (NOW)

Bank Private Sector Arm under Fire from NGOs and Congress (August, 2001)

An NGO report charged the World Bank Group's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) with failing to support poverty alleviation and environmental protection and called for it to "be shut down." This was swiftly followed by a vote in the US House of Representatives to take money intended for MIGA and reallocate it to anti-tuberculosis programs. (Bretton Woods Project)

The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economist's Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics, A Book Review (July 2001)

Top ranking World Bank economist, William Easterly, criticizes flawed development strategies designed by the World Bank and IMF. This book review is provided by Dennis Whittle, CEO of DevelopmentSpace and formerly head of Corporate Strategy and Innovation at the World Bank. (

World Bank Should Stop Acting Like a Loan Shark (July 15, 2001)

While the G7 countries have committed to full debt cancellation, the World Bank and IMF argue that they need the money from the indebted countries to ‘fight poverty.' In reality, the WB and IMF spend billions of dollars on projects that do not successfully target poverty alleviation. (Gazette, Montreal)

World Bank Renews AIDS Challenge to African Leaders (July 11, 2001)

The World Bank challenged African governments to give priority to HIV preventive activities. The Bank argues that a government is the only entity capable of financing the monitoring and control of the epidemic. Due to the weakening economy and lack of basic infrastructure, however, it will be difficult for African leaders to face the challenge. (World News)

Privatisation of Water Not "Pro-Poor", NGOs Warn (June/July, 2001)

World Bank and IMF water-privatization initiatives in Ghana have caused disquiet among NGOs. The Bretton Woods Project raises concerns about the effects of water privatization in developing countries.

PRSPs Just PR Say Civil Society Groups (June/July, 2001)

Two new civil society groups agreed that the World Bank's PRSPs (Poverty Reduction Support Programs) are simply delivering repackaged structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) and "window-dressing" to improve the IMF and World Bank's declining legitimacy. (Bretton Woods Project)

World Bank Intensifies Trade Work, But Cancels Conference (June/July, 2001)

The World Bank has vowed to "intensify its trade-related activities" by increasing its research, training and advocacy at global and country levels. The Bank, however, is using the cancellation of conferences as a compensation for its ongoing neoliberal exploitation in trade activities. (Bretton Woods Project)

Water in Public Hands (June 2001)

Public Services International discusses the disadvantages of water privatization, which has become a common feature of World Bank and IMF policies in the developing world. Water should remain a public good, not a prisoner to market forces. (Public Services International)

Why We Must Open the Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Boards: The Case of User Fees on Primary Health in Tanzania (June 21, 2001)

Robert Naiman from the Center for Economic & Policy Research criticizes the World Bank and IMF for its most controversial "structural adjustment" policies – the imposition of user fees on primary health care and education – and its reluctant stance towards exemption schemes for the poor. (Attac News)

World Bank Awards Its First Poverty Reduction Support Credit (June 18, 2001)

The World Bank granted the first new Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) to Uganda. This new credit plan will support policy measures detailed in the government's Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) in a "selective manner." While the Bank's debt collecting with IMF severely deteriorates the poverty level of the country, the new measure may take a while to be in effect. (This Day, Lagos)

New Study Dries Up World Bank Water Privatization Schemes (June, 2001)

Public management of water resources is often better than Public-Private Partnerships or Privatization, a study by UK university argues. These schemes have often resulted in higher prices and poor management. Multinationals have been reluctant to provide service to the poor and siphoned off profits to other areas. (Public Services International)

Address to the Fourth Meeting of ECOSOC and the Bretton Woods Institutions (May 1, 2001)

Kofi Annan said it was crucial to ensure that developing countries are represented and have an adequate voice in the international financial institutions. (Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General)

'Ongoing Exercise in Learning' at World Bank (April 16, 2001)

Ian Johnson, vice president for environmentally and socially sustainable development at the World Bank, admits "they sometimes get it wrong" and gives an example (Washington Post).

Africans Query World Bank, IMF Governance Mantra (April – May, 2001)

African NGOs point out that the World Bank's commitment on poverty reduction and the quality of governance in Africa, exclude the important issues of democratic deficit and the high social costs of privatizing basic services. (Bretton Woods Project).

World bank Calls for Halving World's Poverty (April 2, 2001)

World Bank President James Wolfensohn reiterated the need for streamlining conditionality and "focusing more on the outcomes and less on itemizing what steps a government must take to reach them." (afrol News)

Soldiers Surrender Weapons But Repeat Demands Over World Bank (March 22, 2001)

Rebel soldiers in Papua New Guinea ended a week-long revolt by agreeing to surrender their weapons, although they repeated their demands that the government expel representatives of the World Bank and the IMF. (Associated Press)

US Seeks to Ease G7 Concerns over Hands Off Stance on Global Economy (February 19, 2001)

Ambivalence is the key word outlining international concern over the US foreign policy approach to the global economy. Can we afford to have a traditional republican approach that simply aims to structure the international financial architecture according to the 'national interest'(World Bank Development News)

World Bank and IMF to Work with Africa Together (February 15, 2001)

World Bank and IMF work together to help "African nations do more with less." Doing more with more appears to be out of the equation. (World Bank Development News)

IMF, World Bank and African Economies (February 1, 2001)

Do the Three Sisters Need a "Big Brother" Called, "Paradigms for African Industrial Competitiveness?" (Nigerian Guardian)

The IMF and World Bank's Cosmetic Makeover (February, 2001)

The World Bank and the IMF, medieval doctors with a one-size-fits-all cure, are now trying to present themselves as anti-poverty crusaders. The Bank's President James Wolfensohn expressed his pride in these efforts by going to work "thinking (he's) doing God's work."(Dollars and Sense)

Showdown at the World Bank (January/February, 2001)

Robert Wade, a former economist with the World Bank, narrates the saga of Ravi Kanbur and Joseph Stiglitz's stormy resignations from the Bank. Wade argues that the US Treasury played a decisive role in silencing the dissident economists, and advocates for limiting US hegemony at the Bank. (New Left Review)



Growth May Be Good for the Poor - But are IMF and World Bank Policies Good for Growth? (August 7, 2000)

This article provides a thought-provoking critique of Kraay's and Dollar's paper "Growth is Good for the Poor". While this may well be the case, the authors argue, it is far from certain that the World Bank and the IMF are good for growth. (Centre for Economic and Policy Research)

Growth with Equity is Good for the Poor (June 2000)

An Oxfam policy paper says that while economic growth is self-evidently good for the poor, the Dollar-Kraay paper neglects to consider the futility of growth in a context of income inequality, which "wastes productive potential on a vast scale".

World Bank Criticizes Itself Over Chinese Project Near Tibet (June 27, 2000)

The World Bank finally realizes that it cannot ignore the political and social consequences of its projects. The unpublished World Bank report, provided to the New York Times by sources hostile to the project, reveals that the bank violated its rules and bent "to the wishes of a major customer".

A Fork in the Road to Riches (June 25, 2000)

The idea of allowing developing countries to choose their best path for development is not welcomed by the World Bank. "Experimentalists" like Kanbur and Stiglitz, who believe that governments can set their own path and pace to the market, both ended up going back to their cozy academia. (New York Times)

Remaking the World Bank to Remake the World (April 12, 2000)

A hardhitting analysis of the World Bank with concrete examples, which explains why protestors are convening in Washington in droves this weekend to ask that the World Bank to think less in terms of corporate welfare. (TomPain)

What I Learned at the World Economic Crisis (April 6, 2000)

Former World Bank Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz, explains concisely why protestors in Washington have legitimate reasons for accusing the IMF and others of irresponsible development policy. (New Republic)

Democratic Development as the Fruits of Labor (January 24, 2000)

After criticizing the IMF and World Bank for inaccurately evaluating development, former World Bank Chief Economist, Joseph Stiglitz stresses the need for a more democratic policy making team, to incorporate specifically the working class, i.e. labor unions into the discussion of development strategy.

The Challenge of the New Washington Consensus (December 2000)

This article discusses the key elements of the Bank's new policy strategy by focusing on the speeches of Joe Stiglitz, the Bank's chief economist from 1997 to early 2000. (Brettonwoods Project)

Play It Again Sam: The IMF and World Bank Are at It Again (December 11, 2000)

Turkey, presented not long ago as a model of liberalization and structural reform by the IMF, is now facing a serious financial crisis. This reveals the problems with the IMF and Bank's program philosophy, where nothing has changed but the "tactical adjustment of rhetoric". (Znet)

Kenya Protests Against World Bank-Driven Land Reforms (December 7, 2000)

The Bank's land reform policy claims to provide "efficiency and equity in land redistribution". However it is actually increasing inaccessibility to land for the poor since land is being released into the competitive market place. (Inter Press)

Poorest Countries Left Behind by Trade Boom (December 6, 2000)

The World Bank indicates that despite the expansion in global trade, barriers against exports of developing countries are causing poorer nations to lag further behind industrialized countries. (Inter Press)

Palestinians Given $12 Million World Bank Grant (December 6, 2000)

In an unusual move the Bank has given a grant to the Palestine Authority to help reduce its financial burden. It also indicated that its gesture should move other donors to fund similar projects. (Reuters)

Worst May Be Over for Africa, World Bank (December 5, 2000)

Sub-Saharan nations have not gained much from the expansion of the global economy due to inadequate infrastructure among other problems. However, the region is expected to gain improvements in their living standards in the years ahead. (The Nairobi Nation)

IMF And World Bank Absolve Self Of Blame (December 4, 2000)

How can the Fund and the Bank admit that the Structural Adjustment Program has been a failure in most third world countries and still claim that they are not partly responsible for the misery in the world? (Vanguard Daily – Lagos)

The World Bank as the New Evangelist? (November 22, 2000)

Can we believe that the Bank is now an "anti-poverty crusader" when there is no shift in its commitment to neo-liberal thinking? ( Economic Times)

Discrimination And Poverty Likely Bedfellows (November 20, 2000)

A new World Bank study shows that in societies, greater discrimination correlates to greater poverty, slower economic growth and a lower quality of life compared to those with less discrimination. (Africa News)

World Bank Professes Not to Press For Phase-Out of Inefficient Industries (November 16, 2000)

According to World Bank President James Wolfensohn, the Bank doesn't push borrowing governments to shut down inefficient or unprofitable industries. Rather, the Bank advises governments not to prop them up. (Karachi Dawn)

World Bank to Ease Malawi of 43 percent of its Debt Burden (November 14, 2000)

Malawi will soon benefit from the HIPC scheme with the Bank and the IMF requiring that savings derived from the scheme are re-invested in social services and poverty reduction programs that would benefit the poor. (Agence France Presse )

Mozambique's Cashew Crop (November 13, 2000)

In a reply to the article accusing the World Bank of crippling the cashew industry in Mozambique, the Country Director of the Bank explains that, the current policy is helping to increase farmers' incomes and restoring prosperity to the industry. (Washington Post)

World Bank Chases Mirage of Empowerment (November 11, 2000)

This article from (Business Day) examines the viability of the World Bank's empowerment as a tool for development initiatives in the midst of its traditional policies.

Put Poor Nations Online to Crack Poverty, Pleads World Bank Chief (November 11, 2000)

Is the power of information technology enough to help the world's poor to develop? (Sydney Morning Herald)

World Bank Gets Satisfactory Results (November 9, 2000)

The World Bank has indicated that 81 percent of its monies lent achieved positive results in the past two fiscal years. (Washington Times)

World Bank Says Structural Adjustments Hurt the Poor (November 9, 2000)

This article from Inter Press Service reports that a study by the World Bank has revealed that its structural adjustment policies have had a less effect on reducing poverty than expected.

IMF's Promise to Make HIPC Debt Initiative Work for Zambia Remains Unfulfilled (November 3, 2000)

Zambia's rejection of the HIPC initiative exposes its flaws which critics argue may only help "soften" some of the beneficiaries' debt service obligations rather than reduce them. (Jubilee 2000)

Nigerian Union Takes IMF and World Bank to Court (October 2000)

Fed up with the IMF's imposition of unfruitful economic reforms on beneficiaries of its loans, the ASUU in Nigeria has filed a writ in a Lagos High Court, to prevent the IMF and the Bank from pressurizing the Nigerian government to implement economic reforms. ( Brettonwoods Project)

This is Where Our Money Goes (October 29, 2000)

This article from the (Telegraph) explains how aid money including loans from the World Bank are misappropriated by governments in the third world. It also alleges that the Bank devotes too much attention to giving loans rather than monitoring what the money is used for.

Debt Relief Alone Not Enough For LDCs (October 27, 2000)

With the current world trade system and the IMF and World Bank Structural Adjustment Programmes, can forgiving debts under the HIPC be effective? (Dawn)

World Bank to Stop Pushing Poor to Pay for Health Care, School (October 25, 2000)

The bank, under pressure from the US government and anti-poverty groups, has indicated that it is making its policies more "sensitive to the poor." (

In Mozambique, a Less Than a Helpful Hand (October 18, 2000)

This article from the Washington Post criticized the World Bank for destroying Mozambique's domestic cashew processing industry through its free trade policies. An excellent example of how World Bank/IMF policies prescribed to reduce poverty, actually worsens it!

Nigeria: World Bank apologises for failure of education projects (October 16, 2000)

After the failure of its educational projects the Bank heaps the blame at the feet of a few officials of the Federal Ministry of Education and their cronies and the bank announces that Nigeria would not automatically qualify for a new education package.(

Pie-in-the-Sky Debt Relief (October 11, 2000)

Allan Meltzer (head of the famous Meltzer Commission) and Adam Lerrick say that the IMF and World Bank are unloading the financial responsibility for the HIPC initiative onto taxpayers. (Washington Times)

IMF, World Bank and Debt (October 6, 2000)

In this letter to the Irish Times, Maire Kelly rightly points out that while the IMF and the World Bank behave like private-sector banks, they have significant advantages – for example, their debtors cannot go broke and can thus be held in debt penury for decades.

IMF, World Bank Face Tough Questions on Corruption (October 2, 2000)

The lending policies of the Bretton Woods institutions come under fire as critics assert that they gave out money to corrupt governments without sufficient monitoring, notably in the case of Russia in 1998. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

The Prague Castle Debate (October 2000)

When he appeared at the NGO-Bretton Woods Institutions debate in Prague, Walden Bello from Focus on the Global South had a quite a few things to say about World Bank and IMF policies. Some of his comments did not go well mith Messrs. Koehler and Wolfensohn.

Great Schmoozing - Shame about the Rest (September 28, 2000)

What has the annual meeting of World Bank and IMF in Prague achieved? James Arnold from eCountries says it was not much more than the usual schmooze-fest, with certain noises from the sidelines somewhat amplified.

China Slams World Bank "Politicization," High Borrowing Costs (September 26, 2000)

While the World Bank has recently tried to expand its focus and employ a holistic definition of ‘poverty', some member states think the Bank is overstepping its competencies and meddling in areas of domestic sovereignty. (Agence France-Presse)

There's More to Becoming Rich than GDP Growth (September 26, 2000)

Only half a year after the simplistic 'Growth is Good for the Poor' report, the World Bank published a new study stating that the ‘Quality of Growth' is the decisive factor. This ‘quality' is influenced by a huge number of other factors like accountability, governance and equality. (Independent)

Stiglitz and the Limits of 'Reform' (September 2000)

Looking back at the resignation of Joe Stiglitz as World Bank chief economist, Doug Henwood says that this case illustrates just how resistant to change and new ways of thinking the Bank can be. Under these circumstances, how far could reform of this institution go? (The Nation)

The Emperor Has No Growth (September 26, 2000)

Conventional wisdom says that globalization is good for growth. Not so, says the Center for Economic and Policy Research: in fact, growth rates in a majority of countries have declined in the 1980s and 1990s, the heyday of liberalization. And what does this say about the ‘successes' of the IMF or the World Bank?

World Bank Offers Aid on Oil Cost (September 22, 2000)

...but far more importantly, World Bank president James Wolfensohn further acknowledged that producers should have some form of protection from sharply fluctuating commodity prices. (International Herald Tribune)

Helping the Poorest to Get Poorer (September 21, 2000)

The IMF and the World Bank are responsible for keeping poor countries shackled in debt and despair, George Monbiot argues in the Guardian, which is their exact purpose as envisaged by the US. Accordingly, they should be dismantled immediately.

World Bank Calls for More Aid (September 21, 2000)

World Bank president James Wolfensohn called current levels of official development assistance "a crime". The situation of a strong world economy should be used to increase aid to developing nations. But at the same time he rejected a total cancellation of debt. (BBC)

World Bank Blames Blanket Aid Conditions on Reform Failure (September 20, 2000)

Donor countries gave out ODA without looking at the conditions in the creditor countries, effectively supporting corrupt and malfeasant governments, a World Bank report asserts. (Inter Press Service)

Globalization, Done Right, Is What Developing Countries Want (September 20, 2000)

Peter Woicke, chief of the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank group) tells us why globalization is A Good Thing. (International Herald Tribune)

The World Bank's Social Reconstruction (September 19, 2000)

The Bank says it is busy "reinventing" itself as a more socially responsible and "listening" organization. But former Bank president Robert McNamara says that economic orthodoxy impedes the fight against poverty through its strict refusal to consider policies of redistribution. (World Bank Development News)

Protest in Prague: Opinions on Globalization are Shifting (September 18, 2000)

Despite a tendency to evoke universal condemnation and a predisposition to knee-jerk reactions themselves, international protesters against corporate globalization have succeeded in bringing important issues on the agenda, argues the Guardian, citing the World Bank's Development Report as a case in point.

Plea to Allow Debt Repayments through Government Expenditures (September 15, 2000)

Evaluating the World Bank's new World Development Report 2000/01, Pakistan's Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz proposed that domestic anti-poverty measures should be counted as repayment of debt. (Business Recorder)

MIGA: Annual Report Shows Rising Foreign Direct Investment (September 14, 2000)

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), part of the World Bank group, published its annual report. It stated that it had significantly increased FDI flows into developing countries in the past year. (UN Wire)

Wolfensohn Unbound (September 13, 2000)

Or: Who is this Wolfensohn guy anyway? High-minded idealist or callous spin-meister? This article may not give all the answers, but it takes a stab at the issue. (Prague Post)

World Bank Dilutes Report (September 13, 2000)

Development charities accuse the World Bank of censoring the World Development Report (WDR), the Guardian reports, substantially altering it since its draft phase. The Bank countered that Ravi Kanbur's key messages had survived the editing stage.

Oxfam Response to World Development Report (September 12, 2000)

The British NGO Oxfam issued a broad endorsement of the WDR. It praised the Bank's move to include inequality in the Report, but diagnoses tension between the new perspectives and the old growth ideology.

World Development Report Fails to Put Own Recommendations into Action (September 12, 2000)

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICTFU) expressed disappointment that the WDR failed to follow its own conclusions. It further criticizes the under-emphasis on labor standards and social safety nets.

World Bank Chief Warns Indonesia On Militias (September 12, 2000)

In an unusually overt political move, the World Bank wrote a letter to the Indonesian government stating that their cooperation was jeopardized if Indonesia failed to crack down on West Timorese militias. (Washington Post)

IMF, World Bank See Cooperation, Different Roles (September 7, 2000)

These two institutions have become more and more entangled in their areas of activity. Now their respective presidents, Koehler and Wolfensohn, are trying to delineate responsibilities to make sure their organizations work more efficiently. (News24)

Wanted: Intelligent Protesting (September 6, 2000)

Are the recent signs of apologetic contrition indicative that the Bretton Woods institutions are developing a conscience, the Prague Post

asks in an editorial. Or are they only trying to take the wind out of protester's sails?

World Bank to Give Larger Loans with Fewer Conditions (September 5, 2000)

James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, wants to take his organization out of the micro-management of credits. He announced that the Bank would allow creditor governments greater leeway on how to expend the money. (World Bank Development news)

World Bank Chief Takes a Swipe at Non-Governmental Groups (September 3, 2000)

Weary of the relentless criticism from all over the world, World Bank president James Wolfensohn lashed out at NGOs as being unfair to the organization and not acknowledging the Bank's poverty reduction efforts. (Inter Press Service)

World Bank Admits It Was Naíve On China (September 2, 2000)

James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, admitted that his organization was "politically naíve" when it entered the Qinghai resettlement project. But he emphasized the positive changes within the Bank since he took office in 1996. (Reuters)

Prague Gets Ready for Protests (August 28, 2000)

Prague prepares for the anarchist hordes due to smash McDonalds' and disrupt public lives in September! No reason to worry, says, the protesters are almost universally peaceful and interested in a constructive dialogue rather than headlines-grabbing mayhem.

Havel Urges Multinationals to Heed the 'Voices of the People' (August 23, 2000)

Czech President Vaclav Havel called on multinational organizations like the World Bank, the IMF and the UN to be more open to the public. He hopes that the protests at the upcoming annual summit in Prague will be peaceful, ‘philosophical and substantive'. (New York Times)

Can World Bank Lend Money Without Hurting the Poor? (August 14, 2000)

As the World bank pulls out of a controversial mining project in India, the finger-pointing and the recriminations begin. (World Bank Development News)

Poor Should Look Beyond World Bank (August 10, 2000)

In an editorial for the Singapore Business Times, Sree Kumar asks whether multilateral development institutions like the World Bank and the IMF have had their day. He calls for a greater involvement of private banks in developing economies.

Governance Matters: From Measurement to Action (July 27, 2000)

Mismanagement and poverty go hand in hand, say World Bank economists Daniel Kaufman, Aart Kraay and Pablo Zoido-Lobatón. They advocate better governance to improve chances of development. (World Bank Development News)

China Withdraws from World Bank Project (July 7, 2000)

While the World Bank is mired in bureaucratic infighting, China decides to go it alone and continue the controversial Qinghai resettlement project without outside funding. (Tibet Information Network)

Privatization and "Reforms" Spread Corruption (July 5, 2000)

Someshwar Singh argues that World Bank and IMF policies have led to a rise in global corruption, enabling transnational corporations to bribe to the tune of $80 billion a year - roughly the amount needed to eradicate global poverty according to the UN. (Third World Network)

Don't Bank on It: Factions at The World Bank Argue (July 4, 2000)

The resignation of Kanbur and Stiglitz highlights the rifts within the World Bank. This article from the Guardian details the rivalry between the 'ultra-orthodox school' and its critics.

Development: A Leopard and Its Spots (July 2000)

A speculative article on why Ravi Kanbur left the World Bank and how the World Development Report will be received now that he is gone. (North South Development Monitor)

Learning Network Dissolves North-South Barriers (June 22, 2000)

The Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) was officially launched by the World Bank as part of a worldwide exchange of learning activities. The use of interactive video, satellite communications and internet facilities enable an exchange of views on globalization and international economy. (World Bank Development News)

Delays and Compromise Over World Bank Qinghai Resettlement Project (June 21, 2000)

Despite ongoing campaigns against the resettlement project in western China, the World Bank Management is about to give the project the green light in an attempt to reduce poverty in the area. The project is constantly criticized as non-transparent and unaccountable. (Tibet Information Network)

Joseph Stiglitz. The Progressive Interview (June, 2000)

Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Price Winner and former Senior Vice President of the World Bank, gives his opinion on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Stiglitz discusses their dogmatic doctrine and ignorance towards opposing views. (Progressive)

Another One Bites the Dust (June 2000)

The resignations of Stiglitz and Kanbur from their posts at the World Bank were generally seen to indicate an interior power struggle. But this is not the only conflict rocking the organization: Nicola Bullard points out that the Bank is also caught in the middle of partisan politics in the US Congress. (Focus on Trade)

The Only Way is Up (June 15, 2000)

Africa is often seen as "somehow uniquely doomed", says Charlotte Denny. Yet there are ways out of the continent's poverty: conflict resolution, debt relief and fair markets are just a few of them. (Guardian)

Following the Evidence Trail to Development World Bank Information Solutions Group and African Countries Pioneer Anti-Corruption Strategies (June 15, 2000)

Building and sustaining sound "record management systems" can be expensive for developing countries with serious budget constraints. Yet the World Bank maintains that legally verifiable records play a key role in fighting corruption. (World Bank Development News)

Statement on Ravi Kanbur's Resignation (June 14, 2000)

"A Serious Blow for the World Bank and for Sensible Discussion of Globalisation," an informative update by APIC on the Kanbur scandal. Includes links to several texts regarding the World Bank Report due in September of 2000.

Growth Is Good for The Poor (June 14, 2000)

Richard Douthwaite takes a stab at David Dollar's and Aart Kraay's controversial paper of the same name. He especially criticizes its purely economic/statistical focus and the political uses to which it is put. (Guardian)

Author of World Bank Report Resigns in Protest of Muzzling (June 14, 2000)

Ravi Kanbur recently resigned as the lead author of the World Development Report on Poverty, after the US Treasury Secretary became involved in rewriting some sections of the report. The resignation of Kanbur may be viewed as counterproductive as he yields to US pressure, yet there is not much he can do. (Bretton Woods Project)

$1.25b World Bank Loan Hits Snag (June 14, 2000)

The China Western Poverty Reduction Project conducted by the World Bank is a hot political issue. China claims the project will ease poverty among subsistence farmers in the area by relocating them onto Tibetan lands. Tibetan exile groups charge the project will result in cultural genocides. (Reuters)

Chad Oil Project Nears Decision (June 13, 2000)

There are concerns about environmental degradation, corruption, human rights abuses and whether oil exploitation will benefit the poorest in Chad. Such concerns have caused 18 Chadian NGOs to call for a postponement of the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline project again after a number of delays.(Bretton Woods Project)

End to Privatization of Global Water Resources Sought (June 12, 2000)

In an annual "summit" by the European Parliament's green group, the world's poorest nations teamed up with European environmental parties to call for a halt in privatization of water resources. Of main concern was the water shortage allegedly exacerbated by this privatization. (Reuters)

Will It Be Business As Usual at the World Bank? (May 9, 2000)

The World Bank will soon decide whether to finance a controversial oil and pipeline project in Cameroon and Chad. Human rights groups, environmentalists and corruption-monitor groups are equally concerned about the effect of the project.(Los Angeles Times)

Desperate Bolivians Fought Street Battles to Halt a Water-For-Profit Scheme. The World Bank Must Realize Water Is a Basic Human Right (May 9, 2000)

In response to the shortage of fresh water in Bolivia, the Bolivian government under directions of the World Bank, introduced water privatization and monopolistic price determination, which raised water prices drastically. The poor now find that water costs half of their monthly budgets.(Globe and Mail -- Canada)

Silencing Joseph Stiglitz (May 2, 2000)

Joseph Stiglitz, an outspoken economist who opposes the "Washington consensus" imposed by the IMF with World Bank support, comments on the recent protests in Washington during the IMF-World Bank meetings.

Blueprints for Redesigning the World Bank (April 17, 2000)

The debate over the future of the World Bank and IMF argues for the organizations to be more open, more democratic, and under more scrutiny. Many urge the World Bank to shift its focus away from loaning money for public-works projects and toward broader research on development. (Christian Science Monitor)

Critics Say IMF, World Bank Leave Struggling Nations Dependent (April 13, 2000)

An opinionated analysis of globalization from the Boston Globe. Are the Bretton Woods Institutions agents of economic growth or promoters of economic disparity?

Goal of Halving Poverty by 2015 Attainable but Difficult, Progress Uneven (April 13, 2000)

According to a new World Bank report, there has been a pattern of uneven progression in poverty reduction; while the poverty rate is falling in some large countries, especially China, in many other countries, especially in Africa, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty is rising.

A Call to Action in a Global Economy (April 13, 2000)

James D. Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank Group expresses respect for civil society and emphasizes the need for strong coalitions of governments, official institutions, NGOs, along with civil society and the private sector to eradicate global poverty. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

World Bank In Trouble? (April 12, 2000)

An article from the Straits Times reports that the World Bank may have a shortage of funds.

Groups Plan Boycott of World Bank Bonds (April 11, 2000)

Critics of the World Bank plan to boycott World Bank bonds to contest projects from development loans which may harm the environment, cost jobs in poor countries, and encourage creation of sweatshops, etc. (Washington Post)

Summers Urges World Bank Reform (March 21, 2000)

US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers emphasizes that the World Bank should not compete with private lenders in developing countries but should instead focus on anti-poverty and anti-disease projects that otherwise would go without financing.

World Development Report on Poverty 2000/01 On-Line Debate (February 21- March 21, 2000)

The Bretton Woods Project and New Policy Institute have been selected to independently run a global on-line discussion of the draft. The Bank is assigning great importance to the debate and Ravi Kanbur, lead author of the WDR will respond to the final conference summary. This is your opportunity to voice comments on the draft and potentially influence the final report.

"A New Framework for Multilateral Development Policy" (March 20, 2000)

Speech given by Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. (Office of Public Affairs)

Anti World Bank, IMF Activists Say Thousands Will Rally in DC Next Month (March 15, 2000)

"The Mobilization for Global Justice, grouping organized labor, human rights and environmental activists, and faith-based movements, said its two days of protests April 16-17 will target the annual spring meetings of World Bank and IMF policymakers."(Agence France-Presse)

World Bank, United Nations Enhance Partnership (March 15, 2000)

The World Bank hosted a meeting with the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in an effort to strengthen relations between the two institutions.World Bank Executive Directors and UN Ambassadors engaged in dialogue on specific issues of mutual concern.

IMF and World Bank to Examine the Effect of Aid (March 15, 2000)

The IMF and World Bank plan to more closely monitor the impact of aid programmes on poverty reduction. Through a strengthened co-operation with other donors and civil society they hope to ensure that programmes have the desired effect. (Reuters)

IMF and the World Bank Blueprint (March 9, 2000)

An article from the New York Times analyzing the practical and impractical suggestions made by the US International Financial Advisory Commision on reforming the IMF and World Bank. Link to report.

US Commission Report on Reforming International Financial Institutions (March 8, 2000)

A new Congressional report on international financial institutions suggests serious down sizing of both the IMF and the World Bank, while increasing foreign assistance. Though full of legitimate criticism, the idea that the US Congress will increase foreign assistance to compensate, lacks historical precedence and so seems highly unlikely.(International Financial Advisory Commission)

A World Bank Marketplace of Ideas (February 15, 2000)

Diversifying beyond its roots as a distant funder of mega development projects run through semi-accountable governments, the World Bank hosted the "Development Marketplace" fair as part of an effort to distribute funds to a greater diversity of development projects with specific community and educationally oriented programs.(Washington Post)

Democratic Development as the Fruits of Labor (January 24, 2000)

After criticizing the IMF and World Bank for inaccurately evaluating development, former World Bank Chief Economist, Joseph Stiglitz stresses the need for a more democratic policy making team, to incorporate specifically the working class, i.e. labor unions into the discussion of development strategy.

World Bank Dissident Invokes Asian Workers' Woes (January 10, 2000)

Outgoing World Bank Chief Economist, Joseph Stiglitz, charges that the IMF, the World Bank and the US Treasury helped investors at the expense of workers in the Asian economic crises. (Interpress Service)




Paying Attention to the Voice of the Poor (December 1999)

A speech given by the Bangladesh World Bank Country director on the need for a broader concept of development in the year 2000.

After-Shock of Global Crisis Continues to Hit Developing Countries (December 7, 1999)

A World Bank report discusses how " the lingering effects of the global financial crisis continue to depress output across developing countries, and hamper efforts to reduce poverty worldwide."

World Bank Economist Felt He Had to Silence Criticism or Quit (December 2, 1999)

Resigning from the World Bank, Stiglitz raises important questions concerning the "intellectual gap between" the latest thinking on sustaining growth in developing nations and what is still practiced at the World Bank and other Washington based organizations. (New York Times)

In Bulgaria, 10 Years of Misery (November 11, 1999)

An opinion from New York Timesabout the status of Bulgaria last 10 years affected by IMF, World Bank and foreign corporations. "What is the result? Hordes of unemployed workers, beggars in the streets, old people digging in rubbish containers for some rag or moldy piece of bread... Our social fabric is falling apart."

The World Bank at the Millennium (November 1999)

An article by Joseph Stiglitz from the Economic Journal, of the UK's Royal Economic Society. Links to Stiglitz's web page on the World Bank's site that provides a number of articles and statements, including "Joe's Conference Watch."

IMF, World Bank Face Mounting Attacks (October 26, 1999)

Wall Street Journal article about both conservatives' and liberals' criticisms of the IMF and the World Bank. Discusses the Congress' lack of enthusiasm for granting US foreign aid and debt relief. An accompanying article lists key provisions and main sponsors of recent House Bills affecting the World Bank or IMF.

The Loose Cannon at the World Bank (October 4, 1999)

"Washington policymakers rarely speak their minds in ways that will offend people. It is regarded as bad manners and disruptive to the policy process... Washington needs more debate, not less." (Washington Post)

The Official News From the World Poverty Front Is Gloomy (October 4, 1999)

A Boston Globe article concerning about the inceasing gap of world poverty among nations, referring to recent relevant reports. ''Poverty is much more than a matter of income alone."

Unburdening the Third World (October 4, 1999)

A New York Times editorial about President Clinton's pledging to cancel the debt owed to Washington by the world's poorest nations, as long as they used the savings for health, education and other anti-poverty programs.

Taking the World Bank's Measure (September 26, 1999)

An Inter Press Service article discusses the World Bank's environmental record in light of its annual environmental report, 'Environment Matters', and draws attention to the fact that the "demand driven" nature of the World Bank's lending often puts its projects at odds with the environment and sustainable development.

World Bank Reverses Position on Financial Controls and on Malaysia (September 20, 1999)

An article in Global Intelligence Update that examines how Malaysia's use of currency controls to soften the sometimes bumpy ride of international currency markets has helped it fare better than most of its East-Asian neighbors, much to the chagrin of Neo-classical economists.

Indonesian Group Slams IMF, World Bank Over Bank Bali Scam (August 31, 1999)

The IMF, World Bank and the Manila-based Asia Development Bank are blamed for not preventing the Bank Bali scandal. (Agence France Presse)

Tapping Europe for Solutions to Poverty (June 24, 1999)

Christian Science Monitor article says: "World Bank, IMF look for lessons on how to put social context into their emphasis on markets."

World Bank Puts Off Vote on Tibet (June 22, 1999)

Bank's executive board delays approval of a controversial project to resettle ethnic Chinese in Tibetan region.

"Free Market" Program Boosts World Poverty (June 8, 1999)

Analysis of two recent studies reveals that: "World poverty is on the increase as a result of the global financial crisis and the free market 'structural adjustment' measures dictated by the International Monetary Fund."

World Bank Estimates 200 Million 'Newly Poor' (June 4, 1999)

Associated Press article about a new World Bank working paper on poverty and financial crises entitled: "Macroeconomic Crises and Poverty: Transmission Mechanisms and Policy Responses." Includes link to the report.

World Bank Fighting Poverty in the Dark (June 3, 1999)

Abid Aslam discusses the World Bank's failure to ameliorate increasing poverty.

China-Western Poverty Reduction Project #CNPE46564(June 1, 1999)

In June 1999, the World Bank approved of a $160 million project designed to benefit 1.7 million of the poorest people in China. Yet, this project is still pending in June 2000, and it is likely to face another 15-month delay. (World Bank)

Memo Misfire: World Bank "Spoof" Memo on Toxic Waste (May 1999)

Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman article on Larry Summers' nomination for Treasury Secretary.

Indonesia: World Bank OKs Loans - With Conditions (May 21, 1999)

Inter Press Service article about loans and the concerns raised by over 400 Indonesian citizens' groups and Southeast Asian grassroots organizations.

Statement By Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi at ECA Conference (May 6, 1999)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi denounces HIPC as financial "blackmail" at UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) conference of African finance ministers.

Aid to Poor Could Miss Targets and Stall, World Bank Reports (April 27, 1999)

New York Times article about World Bank publication World Development Indicators 1999.

Mark Malloch Brown, a World Bank Vice President, to Head UNDP (April 19, 1999)

Article announcing that the World Bank public relations chief has been appointed head of UNDP. Secretary-General Annan vetoed European nominee, Poul Nielson, and named Brown instead.

Study Shows Adjustment Has Increased Debt. HIPC Conditionally Flawed (April 1999)

Report from Development-GAP study reveals that the IMF and World Bank HIPC program is "creating the conditions for more indebtedness."

World Bank Report, "Global Development Finance 1999" (April 1999)

Annual World Bank report on global debt reveals "the financial crisis in emerging markets is likely to be more extensive and longer-lasting than previously predicted."

Brazil's Bail-Out is a Time Bomb (March 18, 1999)

Brazilian groups travel to Washington to meet with government and development bank officials to draw attention to devastating consequences of IMF austerity measures.

Unemployed Can't Bank on Stiglitz: More of the Same From the World Bank (February 14, 1999)

Report on South African NGOs' meeting with Joseph Stiglitz, World Bank Chief Economist and Vice President, during his recent visit to South Africa.

World Bank Beats Breast for Failures in Indonesia (February 11, 1999)

Internal World Bank report concludes that its officials ignored corruption, growing repression and a collapsing financial system in the final years of President Suharto's rule.

IMF and World Bank Come in for Criticism at G-15 Meeting (February 9, 1999)

G-15 countries pushing for serious reform of the IMF and the World Bank.

Social Policy, Good Governance, Core Labour Standards and Development (January 20, 1999)

A Discussion Paper for the Meeting between the ICFTU and Executive Directors and Staff of the World Bank.

Problems Plague World Bank Asia Projects (January 21, 1999)

Brief article about World Bank report indicating that an increasing number of World Bank projects are at risk.

World Bank Wants Public Comment on Energy Policy (January 15, 1999)

World Bank seeks further review of its environmental strategy paper for the energy sector.

Officials of Harvard Program that Aided Russia are Probed (January 15, 1999)

The Boston Globe reports that investigators are trying to determine if the principals of the Harvard Institute for International Development violated federal law during the early 1990s.


The Gathering World Slump and the Battle Over Capital Controls (September/October 1998)

Essay from the New Left Review on the failure of neo-liberal orthodoxy to deal with the Asian slump, and the need for "prudential capital regulations".

Soros: Global Meltdown - Unless We Heed the Wake-Up Call (November 30, 1998)

Financier George Soros writes that the unquestioning faith in the markets is flawed and dangerous.

World Bank Turns Up Criticism Of the IMF (December 3, 1998)

The continuing controversy of the IMF's actions during the Asian financial crisis.

Decision by US and IMF Worsened Asia's Problems, the World Bank Finds (December 3, 1998)

The World Bank issued a report implying that the IMF and the US misjudged the Asian financial crisis.

Anger as Bank Tries to Rule Carbon Trade (November 13, 1998)

In the interest of what it believes to be efficiency, the World Bank plans to control the global carbon market whereby developing countries can sell their pollution allowance to developed countries in return for cleaner combustion technology.

World Bank Decries Stingy Donors (November 10, 1998)

An article discussing the issues brought out by the World Bank's latest report on assessing financial aid given to debtor countries.

Accountability at the World Bank: What Does It Take? (September,1998)

Drawing from the Yacyreta Hydroelectric Project, Argentina/ Paraguay, the Bank Information Center offers an in depth analysis on how to gain further transparency at the the World Bank.

World Bank Memo Depicts Diverted Funds (August 19,1998)

Glenn R. Simpson of The Wall Street Journal on allegations of corruption at the World Bank in Indonesia.

"Labor, Industry and the Bank in Indonesia" (August 7,1998)

An article by Jeff Ballinger of Press for Change on the involvement of the Bank and several TNCs in Indonesia.

World Bank Calls in Fraud Team (July 17,1998)

An article by Martin Kettle of The Guardian on the investigations against corruption at the World Bank.

"Bank Admits HIPC Conditions Wrong" (March 1998)

An article by the Jubilee 2000 Coalition, a group of more than 60 European and African organizations calling for the cancellation of all unpayable debt owed by the world's poorest countries.

Who is James Wolfensohn?

A brief biographical sketch of the World Bank's president -- a very, very rich man.

"Toward the Post-Washington Consensus" (January 7, 1998)

A speech delivered by Joseph Steiglitz, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of The World Bank, for the 1998 WIDER Annual Lecture in Helsinki. Because of its sharp criticism of the "Washington Consensus" that has shaped policy for two decades, the speech drew a lot of attention.

"The World Bank and the G-7: Still Changing the Earth's Climate for Business"

Link to a report analyzing World Bank fossil fuel lending since the 1992 Earth Summit. The report is posted on the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network website.

The World Bank and the Environment

Friends of the Earth postings about the World Bank and its projects' negative effect on the environment.


The Development Group for Alternative Policies, often referred to as "D-GAP" has produced some of the best analysis and criticism of the Bretton Woods Institutions, particularly the World Bank.


Ken Silverstein: "Gilding the World Bank"

A short, lively piece on the World Bank's fancy remodeling of its headquarters and what it shows about the institution and those that run it.

World Bank and NGOs (1996)

A brief analysis by James Paul, Executive Director of GPF, about the relations between the World Bank (and other International Financial Institutions) and NGOs.

Herbert de Souza: "Who Governs Brazil?"

A satirical article about how the Bank, not the elected government, really runs Brazil.

"The World Bank and Russian Oil" by Ellen Schmidt

A major policy paper by WEED of Germany, showing how the World Bank under Wolfensohn continues to grossly disregard the environment in its headlong race for privatization and profits.

"The World Bank and the Attack on Pensions in the Global South"

How the World Bank has imposed "reforms" on public pension funds, drastically reducing the incomes of older persons in many countries. A 30 page research paper published jointly by Global Action on Aging and Global Policy Forum. If you want a shorter version, read a ten page article drawn from the paper.

Abid Aslam: "Report Scores World Bank Poverty Assessments"

A leaked internal report sharply criticizes the Bank's work on its supposed priority -- poverty.



FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.