African NGOs met in Nairobi in August to discuss and formulate an Africa Consensus on economic and social development to challenge the Washington Consensus.
Relations between the Bank and the government of Papua New Guinea were strained in July by the government’s decision to issue bonds to raise money from the private sector.
In July, rising transport and fuel prices in Ecuador led to strikes and public protests, and an up-rising by thousands of indigenous people who are also concerned about privatisation plans.
In late August Colombian labour unions began an indefinite national strike in protest at the government’s political, social, and economic agenda and calling on the government to declare a moratorium on the payment of its internal and external debt.
The IMF has agreed to lend US$7.32 bn to the Zimbabwean government despite continued concerns about corruption in the land reform process; the cost of supporting Zimbabwean troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); a planned privatisation of the Hwange power plant; and the reintroduction of price controls.
IMF policies have exacerbated corruption according to a Christian Aid briefing on new approaches to debt relief.
G7 finance ministers have agreed a framework to include the private sector in future crisis bailouts.
Clare Short, UK Secretary of State for International Development, has called in parliament for the reform of the IMF’s ESAF loans to make them pro-poor.
The G7 have agreed changes to the Heavily Indebted Poor Country Debt Initiative which will impose more conditionality in return for earlier relief from interest payments.
Mr Jagdeo, Guayanese Finance Minister, has attacked the IMF for its lack of commitment to debt reduction and using the HIPC Initiative as a means of forcing countries to comply with ESAF programmes.