News Release

With Wolfowitz at the Helm, World Bank Meeting Along with IMF


The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are holding their first global meetings after the G-8 Summit in July in Gleneagles, Scotland, where a debt cancellation deal for 18 very poor countries in Africa was announced.

Watkins, national coordinator of the Jubilee USA Network, said today: “The G-8 made a promise this summer that some of the world’s poorest nations would see their debts to the IMF and World Bank totally and irrevocably erased. Now some governments and the World Bank are trying to take that promise back. That is unacceptable. Any backtracking on the G-8 deal would result in serious consequences for those populations in the 18 initially eligible countries that urgently require the resources released through full debt cancellation. As an example, the presidents of Rwanda and Zambia — eligible countries — have called for the IMF and World Bank to immediately cancel their debts. Yet, current discussions at the institutions’ boards have set the G-8 deal’s implementation date at July 2006. This would continue to prevent the Zambian government from providing additional AIDS drugs to almost 100,000 infected people, an initiative the government announced in response to the G-8 agreement.” Kar is communications and advocacy coordinator for Jubilee USA Network.
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Lawson is a policy advisor with Oxfam. He said today: “The World Bank’s president, Paul Wolfowitz, said that the World Bank is eager to help deliver the debt deal — but this is not good enough. He must now use his influence to force rich countries to fulfill their promises to the poor.”
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Weisbrot is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and co-author of a new report titled “The Scorecard on Development: 25 Years of Diminished Progress.” He said today: “The last 25 years have seen sharply reduced economic growth and reduced progress in health and education outcomes for low- and middle-income countries in comparison with previous decades. The number one question for the IMF and World Bank at their fall meetings this weekend should be: What has gone wrong over the last 25 years in the vast majority of developing countries?”
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In a joint statement, the 50 Years is Enough Network, TransAfrica Forum, Jubilee USA Network and Institute for Policy Studies said today: “Contrary to the fanfare surrounding the conclusion of the July G-8 summit in Scotland, the impoverished country debt crisis has not been solved nor has the G-8 debt agreement been implemented as of yet.” Ahead of the IMF and World Bank annual meetings Sept. 24-25 in Washington, civil society groups will hold a press briefing on Friday, Sept. 23, at 9 a.m., at the Old Ebbitt Grill, 675 15th St. NW. Dossani is the director of the 50 Years Is Enough Network. Colgan is the director of policy analysis and communications at Africa Action. Greco is a media director with the Institute for Policy Studies.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167