Oxfam verdict on the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Annual Meetings

Published: 9th October 2010

Oxfam spokesperson Mark Fried said:
Thousands of people have flown in from all over the world for these meetings, and there’s been no movement on any issues of significance. There’s been a fight about currencies, and developing countries seem to have been forgotten. And hard decisions about reforming the way the IMF does business have been deferred.”
“Europeans continue refusing to give up their dominance of the IMF board. This is a disappointing outcome for these meetings."
“For its part, the World Bank has been absent from these meetings.”

IDA 16 replenishment

“IDA must be used to support poor countries to increase social spending to meet the MDGs. And the Bank should do more to support poor country governments to make health care and education services free for everyone.”

Looking to the G20

“The G20 talks in Seoul will be a real failure if they too are overshadowed by currency debates.”

“We’re looking to the G20 to announce a permanent mandate on development that tackles not only growth, but also equity, so that the poorest are not left behind.”

Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the IMF

Oxfam spokesperson Pamela Gomez said:

IMF reform

“Europe is denying developing countries their rightful say in how the global economy is run. That’s not acceptable.”
“The currency war can not be used to hold IMF reform hostage. The Fund can’t do its job unless emerging economies are at the table.”
“It's absurd that the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa - 43 countries - has just two seats on the IMF board. Europe needs to give up at least five of its nine board seats.”
“Latest proposals make a mockery of the IMF reform process. South Africa and Nigeria, Africa’s largest economies, would be forced to give up twice as much of their vote as Europe, which is heavily over-represented.”

Low-income countries / meeting aid commitments

“Development aid fell by $3.5 billion last year, while the MDGs deadline is only five years away. The very countries that are here today in Washington calling for aid commitments to be met are those reneging on commitments at home.”
“Growth may be increasing in poor countries, but growth on its own won’t lift people out of poverty. The IMF should support developing countries to massively increase spending to meet the MDGs."

On the African Finance Ministers

Oxfam spokesperson Elizabeth Stuart said:

On Economic Recovery

“Economic growth in Africa without tacking poverty will mean too many people left behind. Action must be taken to reduce inequalities that limit growth and perpetuate poverty."
"The financial, food and fuel crises have reversed progress on reaching the Millennium Development Goals. African leaders must intensify efforts to put in place public services which form the basis of equitable development and efficient growth, particularly free health care and education."#

On IMF Reform and a Third Chair for Africa

“It’s outrageous that the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa - 43 countries - has just two seats on the IMF board. It’s time that Europe gave up some of their nine seats and allowed Africa a real voice at the table.”

“It would be an outrage if the share of the poorest countries is not protected in these IMF reform negotiations."



Contact information

Caroline Hooper-Box
+1 202 321 2967 / caroline.hooper-box@oxfaminternational.org, @HooperBox