Lending conditions

Readers' views No 260, March 2007
OECD Observer

Developed countries met in Paris at the beginning of March to discuss how much they will contribute to the World Bank’s soft loan window for the next three years. 

At the same time, more than 60 European NGOs, including ActionAid, launched a campaign to persuade OECD countries to use this as an opportunity to push for fundamental reform at the Bank.

We are calling for an end to the practice of economic policy conditionality–the linking of Bank funding to changes in government’s economic policies–and the phasing out of the Bank’s large portfolio of oil and coal projects in favour of sustainable alternatives.

Of course, it is OECD countries who collectively own the vast majority of the World Bank’s shares and not the developing countries the Bank is supposed to be helping.

We hope they will use their influence to begin the process of putting developing countries in control of their own development, by making these policy changes and later in the year, by supporting fundamental reform of the governance of the International Monetary Fund and giving more power to the poorest countries most affected by IMF activities. Will OECD members live up to this challenge?

Policy Director, ActionAid International, South Africa
International Media Coordinator, ActionAid International, London, UK
Comments and letters may be edited for publishing. Send your letters to observer@oecd.org or post your comments at these portals: www.oecdobserver.org, www.oecdinsights.org, or at the other OECD portals on this page. 

©OECD Observer No 260, March 2007

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