Independent Evaluation Group highlights lack of gender integration in World Bank social safety net projects
The Bretton Woods Project review of the most important developments at the World Bank and IMF in 2013.
World Bank faces increased competition over large scale infrastructure in Asia, with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS Bank.
IFC accused of “McDonaldisation” of education, with investment in low-fee private schools, despite evidence of negative impacts on inequality.
The World Bank and IFC continue push for controversial hydropower, with projects in Guatemala, Democratic Republic of Congo, East Africa, Niger, Pakistan and Macedonia. The Bank warned on long term viability of hydropower, as Uruguay’s state hydro company agreed insurance with the Bank.
Pakistan’s education system has recently received enormous global attention however the increase in World Bank-backed investment in low cost private schools threatens to undermine recent government moves and the campaign to provide all children with free compulsory education.
Alongside development and economic issues, Pakistan will be tackling the debt repayments that the country is scheduled to make in the next two years and beyond thanks to a $6.64 billion IMF loan agreement. The debt burden is suffocating public spending.
In late June, finance minister Ishaq Dar informed Pakistan's national assembly that the government "will have to go to the IMF" in order to repay current outstanding loan instalments to the Fund.
Pakistan must radically change its economic strategy, and raise Rupees 360 billion ($3.67 billion), 1.5 per cent of its GDP, before the Fund will agree to a new programme.
The Pakistani prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf controversially appointed his son-in-law Raja Azeemul Haq as World Bank executive director (ED) in December replacing current ED Javed Talat whose term had expired.
Talks between the IMF and Pakistan under post-programme monitoring resumed in September. Despite confidence amongst Pakistan officials in their country's capacity to repay its loans, the IMF fears the need for a second loan early next year
In November, Pakistan and the IMF again failed to agree conditions for release of the sixth instalment of the country's Stand-by Agreement.