News Release

Why Challenge the IMF and World Bank?

With protests planned in mid-April for Washington, D.C., when the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund meet in the nation’s capital, the following analysts are now available for interviews about those institutions:

DENNIS BRUTUS
Now professor emeritus of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Brutus was a political prisoner with Nelson Mandela. A member of Jubilee 2000 South Africa, Brutus said today: “The record of both the World Bank and IMF over a period of more than 50 years shows that they serve the interests of the corporations rather than of people. Their policies have led to increased poverty and misery in much of the developing world. It is time to stop these policies. Seattle represented a tremendous surge for change in the world which will be further developed in Washington. What we seek is a new, just, equitable world in which people are more important than profits.”
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MEREDETH TURSHEN
Author of Privatizing Health Services in Africa and a professor of policy and planning at Rutgers University, Turshen said today: “The IMF and the World Bank have forced, as conditions of badly needed loans, many African countries to dismantle their public health services. One consequence of this is the increased number of reported AIDS cases in Africa. AIDS in Africa is rarely diagnosed with an HIV test — they can’t afford it. Rather, it’s diagnosed by symptoms, so many of the ‘AIDS’ cases are actually TB and other diseases that are easily preventable and treatable if they had minimal health facilities. Attributing the deaths to ‘AIDS’ covers for the culpability of the West in the deteriorating health conditions in Africa and implies that there’s little to be done except get Africans to use condoms, which dovetails with the World Bank’s obsession with population control; it also plays to sexual stereotypes. The IMF has also ordered currency devaluations which have severely curtailed drug imports.”

JEFFREY WINTERS
Co-editor of the upcoming book Re-inventing the World Bank and associate professor of political economy at Northwestern University, Winters said today: “The World Bank’s public relations budget is roughly five times its budget for project auditing and supervision. One consequence of this is the massive problem of Criminal Debt, that portion of a country’s official foreign debt that is stolen by government officials. For many countries in the Third World, this is between 25 to 50 percent of the money loaned — for Indonesia, it’s a third or $10 billion. The population has to pay back 100 percent plus interest. The World Bank’s charter requires that it ensure that the monies it lends are used for their intended purpose — but since its inception the Bank has failed to do this, with the losses accruing to poor people across the developing world.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020