Bretton Woods Bulletin February 2014 :

 

February 2014

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Please find below the highlights of the Bretton Woods

Bulletin February 2014, including:

 WEB VERSION

 

 

IFI GOVERNANCE

commentary

 

FINANCE

commentary

 

BRICS Bank: New bottle, how’s the wine?

 

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Last year BRICS’ leaders agreed to launch a brics development bank. Whether this is considered positive depends in part what questions are being asked. Sameer Dossani of ActionAid International highlights the flaws in the world bank and IMF, analyses whether a BRICS Bank could be different from these institutions and proposes what it should do and what it should look like.

 

 

FINANCE

background

 

IMF lending facilities to low-income countries

 

The imf has reformed lending facilities for low income countries, introducing three credit facilities; the Policy Support Instrument, a non-financing programme will monitor the  

 

FINANCE | news

 

Malawi’s cash-gate scandal

 

The imf has restarted its programme in Malawi after alleged looting of government money in 2013, releasing a $20 million disbursement. NGOs have voiced their dissatisfaction with the IMF, as well as the government over the failure to publish an audit upon which Fund’s decision was based.

 

IFI GOVERNANCE | news

 

Bank develops “citizen engagement” strategy

 

The world bank has launched a consultation on its new strategy to mainstream a coherent approach to citizen engagement.

 

FINANCE | news

 

Program-for-Results review launched

 

The Bank is launching a review of the controversial Program-for-Results instrument which was approved in early 2012.

 

CONDITIONALITY | news

 

Grenada: IMF admits failures

 

IMF admits its programme in Grenada ignored vital information and was based on false assumptions, as trade unions predict damaging consequences of wage freeze.

 

KNOWLEDGE | news

 

Lagarde – equality champion?

 

Lagarde discusses income inequality in UK speech and cites Oxfam paper that criticises IMF, but ignores recommendations to reduce income inequality.

FINANCE | news

World Bank guarantees policy reform

The World Bank publishes draft of a proposed new operational policy on guarantees.

 

World Bank accountability mechanisms: Any lessons learned yet?

 

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The effectiveness of the Bank’s  

 

RIGHTS

analysis

 

 

IFC’s bitter tea

 

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As the CAO publishes its assessment report of its investigation into allegations of human rights violations by IFC-funded APPL, Tata Tea’s parent company in Assam new evidence emerges of the IFC’s failings.

 

 

CONDITIONALITY

analysis

 

 

IMF blames the victims as markets thow another taper tantrum

 

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As emerging markets suffer renewed bout of financial volatility, risk of worse to come as IMF struggles to provide even-handed global policy coordination.

 

 

LAND

news

 

 

World Bank and agriculture: Cultivating controversy?

 

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The World Bank’s push for ‘climate-smart agriculture’, including a new joint initiative, was criticised by CSOs. An Inspection Panel case on forced labour in Uzbekistan cotton fields was postponed for up to 12 months.

 

 

ENVIRONMENT

news

 

 

World Bank’s mining treasure map

 

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The World Bank is promoting a “billion dollar map” of minerals in Africa, and continues to invest in fossil fuel extraction. Controversy is tainting Bank-funded mines in Colombia and Haiti as locals resist the extractive projects.

 

 

IFI GOVERNANCE | news

 

IFC funded Tata Mundra coal plant to be investigated by ADB

 

ifc funded 4,000 MW adb for negative social and environmental impacts.

 

 

CONDITIONALITY

news

 

 

The Troika “hellhound” bites back in Greece

 

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Troika mulls new loan while Greek government touts economic success story but economic, health and human rights conditions deteriorate. Lagarde admits “miscalculations” occurred in Greek loan, while European parliamentary committee blasts Troika as unaccountable and illegitimate.

 

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

analysis

 

 

World Bank’s thirst for hydropower

 

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The World Bank and ifc continue push for controversial hydropower, with projects in Guatemala, Democratic Republic of Congo, East Africa, Niger, Pakistan and Macedonia. The Bank warned on long term viability of hydropower, as Uruguay’s state hydro company agreed insurance with the Bank.

 

 

SOCIAL SERVICES

news

 

 

World Bank’s Burma spending spree

 

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The World Bank has announced big spending programmes in health, electricity and telecoms in Burma, however, critics point to its failure to protect human rights or consult properly with civil society.

 

 

PRIVATE SECTOR

news

 

 

Shopping mall Shangri-La: IFC’s lending for luxury

 

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IFC investments in luxury hotels and shopping malls highlight projects with weak development outcomes.

 

 

LAND | news

 

Complaint filed against IFC funded Lafarge mining operation

 

Khasi indigenous people in Indian state of Meghalaya have filed a complaint with the CAO over illegal land infringement by French multinational Lafarge’s Bangladeshi cement plant.

 

 

 

 

Bretton Woods Project: Critical voices on the World Bank and IMF

 

 

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The bretton woods Project is an ActionAid-hosted project, UK registered charity no. 274467. The Project receives funding from NGOs in the UK, the CS Mott Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the European Union and Oxfam NOVIB. Under no circumstances should our work be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union or any other funder.