In July, the United States Congress passed legislation aiming to bar the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank from imposing “user fees” on primary health care and education on poor countries. This is the first time the House has demanded a change in a specific IMF-World Bank “structural adjustment” policy on the ground. The likely impact of this action is unclear, however, as the IMF often argues that it only “advises” governments on how they might meet its macroeconomic conditions such reducing budget deficits.
After 4 years of on-off negotiation and public opposition, the government of Egypt has signed a loan deal with the IMF whose impacts civil society fears will encroach upon human rights, social protection and social provision, like health and education, upon which the poorest depend.
Investments by the World Bank-hosted Global Financing Facility (GFF) do not reflect the family planning priorities identified by developing countries and local communities. The GFF also continues to suffer from a lack of transparency and meaningful civil society participation, raising doubts about the new mechanism’s effectiveness.
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