Oxfam verdict on the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings 2012

Oxfam spokesperson Elizabeth Stuart said:

“Emerging economies are bailing out Europe, but Europe won’t make room at the IMF’s decision-making table. It’s outrageous that a country like Luxemburg has more voting weight at the IMF than South Africa or Argentina.

“It took a decade to agree to give $1bn to poor countries using the IMF’s gold sales windfall. Europe got hundreds of billions in a weekend. The sums don’t add up.

“Poor countries depleted their reserves defending themselves against the economic crisis caused by the rich world, and are also having to cope with massive aid cuts.

“Governments are throwing money at the IMF to deal with the European crisis, but where’s the money for poor countries?

“The IMF’s gold sales windfall should be used to help poor countries, but Europe is stalling on a decision about how to spend the money.”

Note to editors:

The IMF got an unexpected $2.8 billion from its gold reserves sale in 2010. The IMF agreed in February 2010 to use $1.1bn of its gold sales windfall to support concessional lending for poor countries. How to use the rest of its windfall – another $1.6 billion - is still up for discussion.

Errata, 26 April 2012: Correction on Luxemburg's voting weight vs quota share


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