A major new Bank study claims that ethnic tensions and political feuds are rarely the primary causes of civil wars. Economic forces such as entrenched poverty and heavy dependence on natural resource exports are instead to blame. The report urges improved transparency of natural resource revenues, tracking of commodities and ways to cushion the impacts of commodity price collapses. Joe Hanlon, author of Peace Versus Profit, How the IMF Blocks Peace-Building in Mozambique, commented: “The report implicitly admits that policies of the IFIs in the past probably fuelled civil wars – will the World Bank actually change its policies in response?”
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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