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IMF-WBG, out of recovery!
In a time of multiple crises and “recovery,” we, the undersigned organisations, are extremely concerned that the ongoing interventions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) are further harming people’s rights and economic prospects especially in the global South.
Our concerns originate from the realities of IMF-WBG interventions. IMF bailouts push indebted countries, such as Sri Lanka and Zambia, to pay back rich creditors, while enforcing austerity as a conditionality—new taxes on the people and drastic cuts on social services. Despite its name, the WBG’s Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development framework, a supposed blueprint for recovery, is built on the dogma of finance capital and public-private partnerships for development projects. Pro-corporate reforms remain prominent in these international finance institutions’ (IFIs) recovery loans, conditionalities, policy advice, and push for so-called business enabling environments that benefit corporate giants.
We are especially alarmed by the growing adoption by IFIs, especially the WBG, of rhetoric that seemingly echoes social movements’ calls for climate justice, social services, women’s human rights, sustainability, and inclusion. Experiences of communities in the global South show that the IFIs speak of these in theory but retain harmful financing and the failed, market-oriented development model in practice. We have reason to believe, based on their track record, that they will use the green agenda and sustainable infrastructure as mere catchphrases for business, and the supposed social services, as a means for market-oriented ends. Communities are then at risk of further dispossession of their lands to open up areas for ‘climate smart’ mining and mega-infrastructure in the name of resilience. In a time of rising repression, the WBG’s work in Palestine, and backing of repressive governments such as in the Philippines, deepen injustices at the roots of conflict.
We oppose the corporate recovery agenda that underpins these IFIs’ crisis response and recovery interventions. A corporate recovery means crisis for the people: workers, peasants, women, Indigenous Peoples are at the receiving end of higher taxes, gutted social spending, rising hunger, land-grabbing, harmful projects, and rights violations. In this path, the obscenely wealthy are becoming wealthier but toiling peoples sink further into poverty.
We also remember and highlight the IMF-WBG’s evasive and deafening silence about their own responsibility for today’s crises. The pandemic, even the WBG President admits, has exposed the faults of the current system. We ask: Was it not a system largely shaped by the IMF-WBG, their neoliberal directions, and their neocolonial track record of undermining social services, deepening resource plunder, and violating people’s rights?
As long as the IMF and WBG obscure and justify their meddling in countries, founded on a framework that favours finance capital, they sustain the wealth of a tiny minority and corporations, including those who procure contracts to implement WBG projects. We therefore question the IMF-WBG’s mandate over our countries’ futures and stand united in the call to keep their harmful policies, approaches, and dictates out of any recovery agenda. We support demands for debt cancellations, and ending austerity and all neoliberal conditionalities. Such measures are means to disentangle from IFI dictates, boost public spending, hike wages to living standards, affirm Indigenous Peoples’ rights to ancestral lands and self-determination, and redistribute wealth through taxing corporations and the rich.
Under these circumstances, we believe that ending IFI meddling in recovery efforts is an enabling condition for our larger struggles towards people’s sovereignty, social justice, and systemic change. Social movements especially in the global South have been forwarding their solutions to fight for a sustainable, healthy, free, and just world. At stake today is a possible future redistributing power over economic and development policymaking—away from institutions of monopoly capitalism, and towards the people.
SUPPORTING ORGANISATIONS (As of OCT 10)
People Over Profit Network
Asia Pacific Research Network
International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation
People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty
Rural Area Development Programme, RADP
Society for International Development
Association For Promotion Sustainable Development
National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
Community Resource Centre
National Disability and Development Forum (NDF)
Universal Versatile Society
Zo Indigenous Forum
North-East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS)
Sisters of Charity Federation
Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur
Vikas Adhyayan Kendra
North American Climate, Conservation and Environment (NACCE)
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum
Center for Women’s Resources
Observatori del Deute en la Globalitzacio
Wahenga Youth Group
Agir pour la Securite et la Souverainete Alimentaire – ASSA
Organisations de la Société civile d’Afrique Francophone (OSCAF)-Benin
Platform for Civil-Society Actors in Benin (PASCIB)
Entraide et Fraternité
People’s Forum on Peace for Life
GW Students Against Imperialism
Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia
Vikas Adhyayan Kendra, India
Community Development Trust
AMIHAN National Federation of Peasant Women
International Seafarers Action Center (ISAC) Philippines
Serikat Perempuan Indonesia (SERUNI)
Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA)
Philippines-Australia Union Link
Institute for Policy Studies – Climate Policy Program
PAN Asia Pacific
Malindi Rights Forum
Reality of Aid Global Network
NGO Forum on ADB
Ogoni Solidarity Forum-Nigeria
Program for the Heritage of Ogiek and Mother Earth (PROHOME)
Akua O Britwum
Ian Cyrus Eduarte Barcelos
Christina M. Sayson
Moises P. Jusoy