Social services


Education Lending Criticised

14 June 2000

At the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal in April, the World Bank announced that it plans to spend more on education. James Wolfensohn said no country with a viable and sustainable plan for achieving Education for All (EFA) would be unable to implement it for lack of external resources. “Donors must be ready to respond more quickly and help countries which are ready to move to meet these goals,” he said. The World Bank has doubled its lending for education from US$918.7 million to an average of US$1.9 billion a year.

Patrick Bond, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, called the proposal “really just insane”. “When will someone point out to World Bank loan-pushers that the US-dollar-denominated input costs for basic education are practically zero?” he said, “Why do countries take out dollar loans for education? Where does that hard currency go?”