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.
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Last year BRICS' leaders agreed to launch a BRICS development bank. Whether this is considered positive depends in part what questions are being asked. Sameer Dossani of ActionAid International highlights the flaws in the World Bank and IMF, analyses whether a BRICS Bank could be different from these institutions and proposes what it should do and what it should look like.
The Bretton Woods Project is an ActionAid hosted project (UK registered charity no. 274467).