In mid-October the IMF board considered latest in a series of policy papers defining the Fund’s role in low-income countries (see Update 57). In this decision, on the Fund’s role in the PRSP and donor coordination processes, the board was divided on whether the institution should commit more resources (meaning staff time) to work in poor countries. The paper estimated that fulfilling the board directives from previous discussions on low-income country work without cutting work elsewhere would require an additional six staff people, but the summary of the board discussion revealed a clear divide on whether the Fund should do so. While the board supported better information sharing with donors and the Bank, more outreach by IMF resident representatives, and more concentrated work on debt sustainability; all of these goals must await integration “into a summary paper describing the full range of the Fund’s activities in low-income countries and the cost implications” of any changes.
In the news
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).