7 April 2004 by War on Want , PSIRU
This report looks at how conditionalities and pressures from aid agencies and development banks force developing countries to adopt privatisation policies in public services.
It focuses specifically on the sectors of water, electricity, and healthcare, in six countries: Colombia; El Salvador; Indonesia; Mozambique; South Africa; and Sri Lanka.
It examines the impact of the requirements and policies of the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.
When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.
As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).
The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.
http://imf.org (IMF), World Bank World Bank
WB The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.
It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :
1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 180 members in 1997), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;
2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;
3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.
As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.
http://worldbank.org (WB), and other agencies including regional development banks, the European Commission (EC) and donor countries. It includes a specific examination of the various ways in which the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) supports privatisation in these services.
It concludes that the pressures for privatisation have been strengthened through new structures of ‘globalised aid’; that they create serious limitations on independent decision-making by developing countries, and generate some strong political responses; and that policies of development banks and donor agencies, including DFID, should be reviewed to remove such pressures and ensure that policy-making in developing countries is determined by local democratic processes.
Source: War on Want.
19 May 2016, by CADTM , War on Want , Eurodad , Jubilee Debt Campaign , CNCD , Ecologistas en acción , Debt and Development Coalition Ireland , Bretton Woods Project , Attac Finland , Attac Ireland , Both Ends , Ekumenická Akademie , Enabanda , Erlassjahr.de , Entwicklung braucht Entschuldung , European Network on Debt and Development , European Information Human Rights Centre , Společenství Práce a Solidarity , Zukunftskonvent