Heads of the IFIs were in Geneva in November for a World Trade Organization conference to take stock of its aid for trade taskforce. Two years since its launch, there is still no accepted definition of ‘aid for trade’, no effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, and little or no additional money. Bank president Zoellick announced more of the same for the Bank: resources for infrastructure, private sector support and work on tools to analyse trade obstacles. Trade NGOs have developed aid for trade principles demanding that it: be provided without detrimental conditions; not serve as a quid pro quo for concessions in negotiations; and be additional to existing aid.
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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).