In mid April, after long delays, the IMF board approved the disbursement of Iceland’s third loan instalment, amounting to $159 million, in mid April. The delays were caused by a dispute between Iceland and the UK and the Netherlands over compensation to British and Dutch account depositors in the collapsed Icelandic bank Icesave. The IMF had refused to complete the review because the European Union portion of the financing was being held up. Although no concrete agreement on the Icesave dispute has been made yet, Iceland is under increased pressure after the European Free Trade Association in a late May letter advised of the country’s legal obligation to insure a minimum deposit guarantee of €20,000 per saver. Meanwhile, worries remain over Iceland’s debt sustainability (see Update 71).
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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