IMF-World Bank spring meetings: Zoellick & Lagarde opening remarks

Oxfam spokesperson Elizabeth Stuart said:

Quota reform: "The IMF wants emerging economies to give it more money, but why should they cough up without anything in return? Europe needs to make room at the IMF decision-making table for the rest of the world."

Poor countries: "Lagarde says that IMF firepower must be used for poor countries and not just Europe, but the IMF must make sure its loans are not so expensive that they get poor countries into further debt."

"Lagarde points out poor countries are in a fragile position because they've used up reserves to cope with the first round of the economic crisis, and they're now facing aid cuts. Aid from rich countries fell in real terms by $3.4bn last year. Hundreds of thousands of poor people will go without life-saving medicines and many more children will miss out on school as a result."

Oxfam spokesperson Elizabeth Stuart said:

Safety nets: "Zoellick says the World Bank has learned the lesson that economic growth alone is not enough, and is stressing the need for safety nets. But it needs to get the basics right. Safety nets are a very important last resort, but the Bank's first priority must be massive investment in public health and education services."

Contact information: 

Caroline Hooper-Box, +1 202 321 2967