In March, finance ministers from the South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) postponed plans to create an Asian Monetary Fund after pressure from the IMF and the US government.
East Asia & Pacific
The Wall Street Journal ran an article on 4 May stating that “the World Bank badly mishandled an anti-poverty project that would resettle 58,000 Chinese farmers onto hotly disputed farmlands traditionally inhabited by ethnic Tibetans, according to a report by an internal bank watchdog panel”.
The Thai authorities and the World Bank, the main funders for the Pak Mun dam project, hailed the dam as a big success, but the World Commission on Dams (WCD) recently released a critical evaluation.
Sri Lankan NGOs wrote to their President in May urging him to open up the annual Aid Group meeting at the end of May.
The President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, in Thailand in February for the UNCTAD meeting, refused to accept a letter from villagers affected by the Bank-backed Pak Mun Dam.
The World Bank said in late February that it would not guarantee the billion-dollar Nam Theun II dam in Laos until the government commits itself to significant political and economic reforms.
A South Korean court has rejected a lawsuit filed by a group of labour unions against the IMF for alleged policy mistakes.
In February, about 300 activists from the Student Federation of Thailand, the Forum of the Poor and labour groups burnt effigies of IMF managing-director Michel Camdessus and some Thai politicians in a protest in Bangkok where officials were attending the UNCTAD-X meeting.
NGO activists in Jakarta wrote an open letter to World Bank President James Wolfensohn in February, asking him to meet directly with the people to hear their own solutions to reverse Indonesia’s economic decline based on small-scale, local initiatives.
The World Bank’s project to improve the integration of the environment in its Country Assistance Strategies has a component to examine decisions made in environmental management which have had significant negative or positive impacts on economic development.
The World Bank should compensate communities affected by the Pak Mun Dam in Thailand, argues a new report by International Rivers Network.
In November the Bretton Woods Project filed a submission to the International Development Committee inquiry into British aid to China and Pakistan.