Charity tells Government to stop funding IMF and World Bank

By staff writers
September 13, 2006

Charity tells Government to stop funding IMF and World Bank

-13/09/06

A delegation from Christian Aid today (Wednesday) met with the Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, to discuss the charityís call for the UK government to cut funding to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) until they reform.

Tomorrow (Thursday) thousands of Christian Aid campaigners and a group of celebrities will march past the Treasury to call for the institutions to reform and stop pursuing damaging policies that harm poor people in developing countries.

The rally is timed to coincide with World Bank and IMF meetings in Singapore which will be attended by Gordon Brown, will be calling for the institutions to reform and stop pursuing damaging policies that harm poor people in developing countries.

Musician Ronan Keating, and actors Damien Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite and Adjoa Andoh will be speaking at the event.

Ronan and Damien have travelled with Christian Aid to Ghana and Bolivia respectively, to see the negative effects enforced liberalisation have had on the agricultural sector and peopleís access to clean water.

Ronan Keating said: "I met Ghanaian chicken farmers who, under pressure from cheap frozen imports from Europe, are struggling.

"The government in Ghana, like governments in many developing countries, is not allowed to help its farmers with subsidies, or protect its own chicken market with higher tariffs on imports.

"When they did try, the IMF put pressure on the government to back down. This is just one example of how institutions like the IMF and World Bank use their muscle to impose policies on poor countries."

Last year one of the successes of the Make Poverty History campaign, was that Tony Blair announced the UK would no longer force poor countries to implement controversial economic policies in return for aid.

This radical call to withdraw UK money from the World Bank and IMF is to try to persuade them to follow suit.

Anna Thomas, policy manager at Christian Aid, said: "The IMF and World Bank are insisting on pursuing anti-poor policies.

"The UK needs to cut funding until they reform. Imagine what life would be like if you had to run every decision you made by your bank manager, and if he or she didnít like it youíd have to change it.

"This is the reality for many poor countries - and they canít just switch accounts. In return for loans they have to surrender the right to decide their own policies. The poor end up paying the price."

Every year the Treasury gives the World Bank and IMF £15.72 for every taxpayer in the UK. Campaigners are encouraging tax payers to ask the Treasury to withhold this money until these damaging policies are stopped.

The delegation that met with Hilary Benn consisted of Charles Abugre, head of global policy and advocacy at Christian Aid, Dereje Alemayheu, East Africa programme manager at Christian Aid, Ibrahim Issah Akalbila, trade policy analyst at ISODEC (Christian Aid partner in Ghana) and Linda Mead from the United Reformed Church.

Charity tells Government to stop funding IMF and World Bank

-13/09/06

A delegation from Christian Aid today (Wednesday) met with the Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, to discuss the charityís call for the UK government to cut funding to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) until they reform.

Tomorrow (Thursday) thousands of Christian Aid campaigners and a group of celebrities will march past the Treasury to call for the institutions to reform and stop pursuing damaging policies that harm poor people in developing countries.

The rally is timed to coincide with World Bank and IMF meetings in Singapore which will be attended by Gordon Brown, will be calling for the institutions to reform and stop pursuing damaging policies that harm poor people in developing countries.

Musician Ronan Keating, and actors Damien Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite and Adjoa Andoh will be speaking at the event.

Ronan and Damien have travelled with Christian Aid to Ghana and Bolivia respectively, to see the negative effects enforced liberalisation have had on the agricultural sector and peopleís access to clean water.

Ronan Keating said: "I met Ghanaian chicken farmers who, under pressure from cheap frozen imports from Europe, are struggling.

"The government in Ghana, like governments in many developing countries, is not allowed to help its farmers with subsidies, or protect its own chicken market with higher tariffs on imports.

"When they did try, the IMF put pressure on the government to back down. This is just one example of how institutions like the IMF and World Bank use their muscle to impose policies on poor countries."

Last year one of the successes of the Make Poverty History campaign, was that Tony Blair announced the UK would no longer force poor countries to implement controversial economic policies in return for aid.

This radical call to withdraw UK money from the World Bank and IMF is to try to persuade them to follow suit.

Anna Thomas, policy manager at Christian Aid, said: "The IMF and World Bank are insisting on pursuing anti-poor policies.

"The UK needs to cut funding until they reform. Imagine what life would be like if you had to run every decision you made by your bank manager, and if he or she didnít like it youíd have to change it.

"This is the reality for many poor countries - and they canít just switch accounts. In return for loans they have to surrender the right to decide their own policies. The poor end up paying the price."

Every year the Treasury gives the World Bank and IMF £15.72 for every taxpayer in the UK. Campaigners are encouraging tax payers to ask the Treasury to withhold this money until these damaging policies are stopped.

The delegation that met with Hilary Benn consisted of Charles Abugre, head of global policy and advocacy at Christian Aid, Dereje Alemayheu, East Africa programme manager at Christian Aid, Ibrahim Issah Akalbila, trade policy analyst at ISODEC (Christian Aid partner in Ghana) and Linda Mead from the United Reformed Church.

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