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?”
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In December 2013, the German Development Institute, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Bretton Woods Project, in collaboration with the G-24, hosted a high-level workshop in Berlin to foster an open exchange on the profound changes in the global economy and the implications for global economic governance and its constituent institutions and members.
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).