The World Bank was accused of “behaving like vultures, like loan sharks” by US NGO 50 Years is Enough Campaign after it offered to help finance emergency relief efforts in El Salvador in the wake of January’s earthquake. The group was complaining about the use of hard currency loans for this purpose. Under its current programme for El Salvador, the World Bank has earmarked US$375m in loans for ongoing projects. Damage estimates are about US$1bn. IMF staff are also in discussions with the government about a possible standby programme.
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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).