As governments reached an agreement at the climate negotiations in Cancun in December, the World Bank continued to stir controversy as it attained a role in a new global climate fund, launched new carbon market initiatives, and touted the success of the controversial Climate Investment Funds.
More criticism emerged of IMF programmes as it begins the process of another conditionality review. Political upheaval in Ireland and continued protests in Greece are focussing attention on the IMF's controversial economic policy advice.
On November 22nd 2010, CounterBalance and the Bretton Woods Project hosted a conference in London on "The Private Sector Turn" - the increasing shift from public to private funding in development finance, the forms it takes and what it means for activists and affected people. What follows is a summary of the day's proceedings.
The World Bank’s draft framework for investment in the palm oil sector was met with dismay from civil society groups, who said that it failed to offer a credible strategy to address manifold social and environmental problems.
Logistical information for the "The private sector turn" conference in London, 22 November 2010.
A one day conference on 22 November in London. It will focus on the recent expansion of private sector lending within development finance. Looking particularly at the private sector portfolio of international financial institutions and the role of private equity funds and financial intermediaries. The conference will be followed by a strategy day to coordinate future work and action.
The agenda for the "The Private Sector Turn: Private equity, financial intermediaries and what they mean for development" conference in London, 22 November 2010.
The World Bank is currently undertaking a major review of its controversial engagement in palm oil production, but critics warn that consultation has been inadequate and that the Bank seems to have already decided to continue investment in the sector.
The city of Washington has agreed to pay $13.7 million to 700 protestors and bystanders mistreated by police during demonstrations against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in 2000.
Civil society representatives from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan met at a December workshop in Dhaka on international financial institutions and debt, and said that it was time to free the region from the IFIs.