Joint paper by ten UK development NGOs calling for the government to use IDA's 16th replenishment to push the World Bank to make significant reforms, without which the UK should not increase its cash allocation and instead consider alternative channels for aid.
In a forthcoming paper, NGO Oxfam will criticise the national health insurance scheme in Ghana, which has received technical assistance from the World Bank, for failing to deliver equitable health care.
Minutes of a meeting between UK civil society, UK World Bank Executive Director Susanna Moorehead, and DFID staff
While the political agenda at the IMF is shifting back to mandate and governance reform, there are growing calls that the Fund needs to fundamentally rethink the monetary and fiscal policies it recommends if the institution is to retain legitimacy and renew its mandate.
Originally drafted as internal operational policies to guide staff, World Bank safeguard policies evolved after pressure from environmental and social groups in the 1980s and were first officially implemented in 1998. They aim to protect people and the environment from the adverse effects of Bank-financed operations and are based on international agreements, even if these protections are not explicitly provided for in the borrower country's national law.
The latest DFID white paper strengthens the UK's target setting for the World Bank, but fails to adequately tackle the crucial questions of governance, conditionality, human rights accountability, and climate finance. A recent Tory Party policy paper leaves it unclear whether they would do any better.
A recent evaluation of the World Bank's work in health is damning in its criticism of the lender's approach, particularly in Africa. Meanwhile, the Bank is continuing to push privatisation in public services such as health, education and water despite fierce criticism.
The world's poor are being hard hit by a crisis for which they are not responsible. Low-income countries will face a financing gap of hundreds of billions of dollars this year. More than $2 trillion have been found to boost Northern economies and emerging markets. Yet richer countries have committed just over one twentieth of the additional development finance required to compensate low-income countries for the shock they face resulting from this crisis.
The debate over the World Bank's support for private sector investment in health care provision in developing countries is in the limelight again. A new report by Oxfam asserts that while the private sector can play a role in health care, evidence shows that only scaling up of private sector provision of services is likely to deliver health benefits for poor people.
In February the UK Department for International Development (DFID) belatedly released its latest annual report on its relationship with the World Bank. This continues a tradition which sees these reports appear at irregular intervals. As with previous annual reports there is a marked absence of the critiques heard from the Banks Independent Evaluation Group, the Parliament's International Development Committee or civil society for the period reviewed.