For Immediate Release


Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

IMF and World Bank Meetings in Washington

WASHINGTON - Finance ministers and central bankers from around the world are in Washington this week for semiannual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

DR. PETER BUJARI, via Blair Hinderliter
Bujari is a medical doctor and the founder and current executive director of the Human Development Trust based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In light of the recent economic downturn, Dr. Bujari has been an active leader to influence the future agenda of the International Monetary Fund and poverty reduction in Tanzania. He said today: "The IMF is forcing low- and middle-income countries to follow restrictive policies that clamp down on spending, just when it’s needed most to respond to the economic downturn and safeguard human needs. In Tanzania, while the IMF has recently announced 'some scope for stimulus,' many of the restrictive policy objectives in its program remain the same as before. African nations need help right now, but we need the kind of help that will grow our economies."


Ambrose is Development Finance Coordinator for ActionAid International, a global anti-poverty agency, working with the world's poorest people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He said today: "The global economy is a shipwreck, and the IMF has been called on to send the rescue, but the IMF was one of the captains of that ship. What the IMF demanded before in Africa, Asia, and Latin America was budget cuts, layoffs, restrictions on credit, deregulation of trade and investment and integration into the global economy. That short-term gain also meant long-term pain, since the more globalized a country is, the worse the crisis impact.

"To address the crisis, the IMF has recommended big-spending stimulus programs, but only for wealthy countries. For developing countries it’s more of the same – cut spending, raise fuel and electricity prices, cut wages, avoid deficits. The G20 claimed it was arranging $1.1 trillion in financing to address the financial crisis, but about half of that is from un-designated sources or is money that was previously committed. And out of all that money, a maximum of $50 billion -- less than 5 percent -- is going to be available to low-income countries, like those in Africa and the Caribbean, which are the most vulnerable to the crisis and the least able to find other sources of capital."


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