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Accountability

News

Curbing corruption

15 June 1999

IMF policies have exacerbated corruption according to a Christian Aid briefing on new approaches to debt relief. Privatisation has fostered corruption and wasted resources in many developing and transition economies, and cuts in public spending have led to poor pay for civil servants, teachers and health professionals, forcing them to supplement their wages through petty corruption. Moreover, ESAF conditionality has made governments more accountable to creditors than to their people.

A survey of Christian Aid partners in the South on how to address corruption revealed significant support for:

  • an end to the conditions demanded by the IMF in exchange for ESAF loans; and
  • the creation of national debt relief committees, comprising representatives from local civil society groups, the government and creditors, to oversee how money released from debt cancellation is spent.

Debt cancellation carried out in this way can enhance local control of how resources are used.

Copies of the report are available from Sue Hawley, Christian Aid: Tel: +44 (0)171 523-2101; shawley@christian-aid.org.