For years, IMF staffers, some of Washington’s highest-paid workers, have been enjoying haute cuisine at cut-rate prices. Frugal friends from the World Bank have also been spotted at the Fund trough since their subsidized lunch was axed in 1995. In the spirit of Labour Day solidarity, the IMF stopped subsidising the food at its cafeteria on May 1. “With this bitter pill, the fund is getting a taste of its own medicine,” the February issue of the IMF Staff News lamented. But don’t send your donations of canned goods to the IMF food drive just yet – in addition to generous pay rates, monetary allowances for spouses, tuition for children’s private schooling, air fares home and a host of other perks, many IMF staffers also pay no income taxes.
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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