Natalie Rhodes, PhD candidate at University of Leeds, and People’s Health Movement, along with Remco van de Pas, researcher at the Centre for Planetary Health Policy, and People’s Health Movement discuss in detail about the implications of the newly established World Bank fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response and the Bank’s other policies pertaining to public health.
Dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington DC on Thursday (Oct 13), expressing opposition to funding of fossil fuels and demanding urgent action to tackle climate change. Some of the activists gathered on bicycles and called for support for nations affected by climate change. They carried posters that said "World Bank of climate chaos", "stop funding fossil fuel", "People over profit" and "actions speak louder than words".
As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 rips through the world’s population, the World Bank has forecast slowing global growth for 2022 as well as the following year in its Global Economics Prospects report issued on Tuesday. While it was certainly not its intention, the report is an exposure of the claims by capitalist governments that no serious public health measures can be undertaken to eliminate the pandemic because they would be detrimental to the “economy.” In fact, as the figures in the report make clear, the policy of “let it rip” being pursued by virtually all governments is producing ever worsening economic conditions. No changes will be made, however, as the economy is completely subordinated to finance capital which opposes any measures that impede the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a rapacious oligarchy.
A few days ago, I spoke to a senior official at the World Health Organisation (WHO). I asked her if she knew how many people lived their lives on our planet without shoes. The reason I asked her this question is because I was wondering about Tungiasis, an ailment caused by the infection that results from the entry of a female sand flea (Tunga penetrans) into the skin. This problem has a variety of names in many different languages – from jigger or chigoe to niguá (Spanish) or bicho do pé (Portuguese) to funza (Kiswahili) or tukutuku (Zande). It is a terrible problem that disfigures the feet and makes mobility difficult. Shoes prevent these fleas from burrowing into the skin. She was not sure about the number but presumed that at least a billion people must live without shoes.
Amid findings that the combined wealth of the planet's billionaires skyrocketed to $10.2 trillion during the coronavirus pandemic, the World Bank warned Wednesday that the public health crisis could cause global extreme poverty to rise for the first time in over two decades and push tens of millions of people into that category by next year. "Between 88 million and 115 million people could fall back into extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic, with an additional increase of between 23 million and 35 million in 2021, potentially bringing the total number of new people living in extreme poverty to between 110 million and 150 million," the report says.
During the last few weeks, neoliberalism faced a series of defeats that sped up its agony and are leading to its death amidst large and violent upheavals. After nearly half a century of pillage, outrage and crimes of all kinds against society and the environment, we witness the downfall of the ruling model promoted enthusiastically by the governments of advanced capitalist countries; institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank; and self-righteous intellectuals and establishment politicians.
Robert McNamara and president Luis Echeverria (1970-1976) were thick as thieves. The Mexican president had cracked down on the radical left. From 1973 on, Mexico’s foreign currency revenue soared thanks to the tripling of oil prices. This increase in currency revenue should have prevented Mexico from borrowing. However the volume of WB loans to Mexico rose sharply: it quadrupled from 1973 to 1981 (from USD 118 million in 1973 to 460 million in 1981). Mexico also borrowed from private banks with the World Bank’s backing.
The World Bank’s extreme poverty line of US$1.90 a day is in fact not based on real estimates of people’s cost of living within countries. This explains why it fails to capture the desperation experienced by so many. As soon as we focus on people’s lived experience, the picture becomes more stark. At a most intuitive level, we know that poverty is determined by a person’s inability to meet their material needs. Perhaps the most basic of these needs is food. The UN’s 2018 figures on hunger show that it is on the rise globally. It estimates that 821 million people are currently going hungry.
“Theoretical Lies” Of The World Bank. Developing Countries And The Hidden Agenda Of The “Washington Consensus”
The World Bank claims that, in order to progress, the Developing Countries  should rely on external borrowing and attract foreign investments. The main aim of thus running up debt is to buy basic equipment and consumer goods from the highly industrialised countries. The facts show that day after day, for decades now, the idea has been failing to bring about progress. The models which have influenced the Bank’s vision can only result in making the developing countries heavily dependent on an influx of external capital, particularly in the form of loans, which create the illusion of a certain level of self-sustained development.
In 2019, the World Bank (WB) and the IMF will be 75 years old. These two international financial institutions (IFI), founded in 1944, are dominated by the USA and a few allied major powers who work to generalize policies that run counter the interests of the world’s populations. The WB and the IMF have systematically made loans to States as a means of influencing their policies. Foreign indebtedness has been and continues to be used as an instrument for subordinating the borrowers. Since their creation, the IMF and the WB have violated international pacts on human rights and have no qualms about supporting dictatorships.
WASHINGTON – In a leaked military manual on “unconventional warfare” recently highlighted by WikiLeaks, the U.S. Army states that major global financial institutions — such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — are used as unconventional, financial “weapons in times of conflict up to and including large-scale general war,” as well as in leveraging “the policies and cooperation of state governments.”
Oh what a lovely big stocking-filler for the Kiev regime this week from Washington. Just in time for Christmas too, and only weeks after President Petro Poroshenko tried to incite a war with Russia from a naval provocation in the Kerch Strait. First we had US government envoy Kurt Volker announcing this week that an additional $250 million in military weapons were being packaged in Congress for Ukraine. Then the DC-based international lending institutions, the IMF and World Bank, signed off on multi-billion-dollar loans for Poroshenko’s regime. US government-owned Radio Free Europe described the new financial loans as a “victory” for Poroshenko.
Bali Nusa Dua, October 11, 2018–New analysis by Urgewald, the German human rights NGO, finds that the World Bank is still resettling people in many of its development projects. Altogether, Urgewald screened 1,920 projects approved by the World Bank in its last 4 fiscal years (FY). From 37.2% to 40.1% of the projects were connected to the World Bank resettlement policy: 37.2% in the FY 2015, 39.7% in 2016, 37.7% in 2017 and 40.1% in 2018. Typical projects include road construction, mining or agricultural projects. This week, the Bank is holding its annual meetings in Indonesia. The study results put further pressure on its board and its president Jim Yong Kim to ensure the protection of people affected by the Bank’s projects.
07 OCTOBER, BALI: At a meeting of La Via Campesina facilitated by Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI) in Bali, peasant organizations from Asia, Africa, Americas, and Europe have unanimously held World Bank and IMF responsible for facilitating large-scale land grab, deforestation and ocean grabbing around the world, which has led to inequality, poverty, and global hunger. Peasants pointed to several decades of neo-liberal push from the World Bank and IMF for privatization and de-regulation in developing countries, as among the major factors that have led to increased cost of living for peasant communities. Over the last 30-40 years, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and more recently the WTO has forced countries to decrease investment in food production and to reduce support for peasant and small farmers.
OAKLAND, CA—The revelations that led to this week’s resignation of World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer point to flawed methodology and political manipulation in the World Bank’s Doing Business report. Romer admitted that the Doing Business rankings may have been manipulated to make Chile’s economic environment look worse under the sitting socialist president Michelle Bachelet. These revelations add to a long list of concerns that have been raised by civil society in recent years. The Our Land Our Business campaign was launched in 2014 to demand the end of the Bank’s Doing Business rankings. Over 280 organizations, including NGOs, unions, farmers, and consumer groups from over 80 countries have joined this call so far.