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Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers: A Poor Package for Poverty Reduction
by Jenina Joy Chavez Malaluan , Shalmali Guttal
May 2003

Jenina Joy Chavez Malaluan and Shalmali Guttal are members of the organisation FOCUS on the GLOBAL SOUTH.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claim that the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) signal a new approach to tackling the challenges of poverty alleviation and economic development among their low- income
clients. Launched in September 1999, the PRSP has replaced the old tripartite Policy Framework Paper (PFP) drawn up between the IMF, World Bank and a country government for concessional loans. Both the IMF and the World Bank are expected to align their respective lending programmes to a country’s PRSP: in the case of the IMF, the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF)—the old Enhanced Structural Adjustment
Facility (ESAF)—and the Financial Programming Framework are expected to derive from the PRSP; with the World Bank, the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) and all loans and grants must be based on the PRSP.

In this paper, we contend that little has changed in the substance, form and process of World Bank and IMF programmes.

Jenina Joy Chavez Malaluan
Shalmali Guttal