The World Bank’s Bolivia office has decided to get into the propaganda game, producing tens of thousands of copies of a 22-page booklet titled Ten things they never told you about the World Bank in Bolivia. According to NGO the Democracy Center, the booklet, distributed in three major Bolivian daily newspapers, is rather liberal with the truth. Particularly amusing is the claim that the Bank’s arm for investment arbitration helped resolve the dispute over water privatisation to the benefit of Bolivian citizens. Of course, this ignores that the Bank required the botched water privatisation as a loan condition in the first place. The Bank also tries to claim credit for debt relief. Despite an invitation to respond, no World Bank official has participated in the debate on the Democracy Center’s website.
The IMF and the World Bank are increasingly engaged with the challenge of addressing how tax avoidance and evasion affect developing countries, but need to address the role played by multinational enterprises and tax havens in exacerbating inequality and undermining countries’ domestic revenues.
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