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PPPs lead to dangerous debts for developing countries — it’s time for the World Bank to act

Maria Romero, Mathieu Vervynckt

01 Mar 2017 16:26:56

This blog was originally published on Devex. For many years, public-private partnerships have been promoted by governments and financial institutions as a way to pay for development projects such as roads, schools and hospitals. The World Bank is at the forefront of this push and advises governments on how to structure their PPPs. But it also ignores civil society campaigners’ concerns about the dangerous hidden debts that PPP projects can lead to. The European Network on Debt and Development, and more than 75 nongovernmental organizations and trade unions from all over the world, will not participate in the World Bank’s public consultations on PPPs until this dangerous problem is tackled. What are PPPs? PPPs are agreements in which the private sector essentially replaces governments ...

Trade Unions and campaigners around the world accuse the World Bank of encouraging dangerous hidden debts, boycott consultation on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

• The boycott was launched after the World Bank ignored repeated calls for the Bank to stop promoting PPPs that contain dangerous hidden debts. • Most governments leave these costs out of the accounting books, which can lead to crippling hidden debt – especially damaging for world’s poorest countries. • See ‘Notes to Editors’ for examples of disastrous PPPs. 27 February 2017 Trade unions and campaigners from around the world are boycotting the latest World Bank consultation on PPPs, ...

Why won’t the Bretton Woods institutions take crisis risks seriously?

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank spring meetings have faded in significance since the G20 became the main forum for discussion between major economic powers. As happened last year, little was agreed when the governors of the two Bretton Woods Institutions met in Washington last week.  The gloomy context of a faltering world economy was at the forefront of the communiqué issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee ( IMFC) – a group of finance ministers and central bankers from the 24 countries and constituencies that have seats on the IMF’s executive board (these are mostly high-income countries). They note a wide range of problems, including that “financial market volatility and risk aversion have risen” and that “lower commodity prices have ...
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are not transparent enough, and face criticism from civil society organisations (CSOs) and others for being too expensive, and a risky use of taxpayers’ money. On Monday (29 February) more than 50 CSOs have written ...
by Maria Jose Romero and Xavier Sol (Counter Balance) The European Investment Bank (EIB) has become one of the giants of the financing landscape – its lending was 77.5bn EUR in 2015 – and yet it remains highly unaccountable and opaque. Civil society ...

G20’s plan for infrastructure financing poses serious challenges to developing countries

Maria Romero

12 Nov 2015 16:54:28

One of the three priorities of the 2015 Turkish presidency of the G20 is “investment for growth”. The aim is to “lift the global growth potential” through increasing the financing available to respond to growing infrastructure needs. As Eurodad pointed out, this means a radical change in the way infrastructure is financed by trying to draw in private finance. The preparatory work of this year’s Summit, which will take place next weekend (14-15 November) in Antalya, Turkey, suggests that public-private partnerships (PPPs) will feature prominently in the discussions.  As a key legacy of the Australian G20 presidency in 2014, G20 leaders are focused on implementing growth strategies and will present the first progress report at the Antalya Summit. They are committed to “boosting ...
Next week’s annual gathering of the World Bank and IMF is going to be different for two reasons. Firstly, Finance Ministers from around the world will leave Washington DC and visit Lima, Peru – the first time the Meetings have been staged in a Latin ...
This article was originally published in GREAT Insights Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 5. August/September 2015. Policy debates on development finance have been dominated by how to ‘leverage’ international private capital flows for development projects, ...

Estimating the ‘true costs’ of supporting the private sector through development finance institutions driven by rich countries

Maria Romero

02 Sep 2015 12:12:05

The last few years have seen a sharp increase in development finance institutions’ (DFIs) annual financial commitments. This reflects an increased interest in, and funding for, private sector development by most European governments and multilateral institutions, such as the World Bank and others. As a result, they are becoming major actors in the world of development finance. DFIs lend and invest money – public money or publicly guaranteed money – to private sector companies operating in developing countries. The activity of DFIs has come under close scrutiny from several civil society organisations, including Eurodad, as well as think tanks and academics, investigating whether they are truly delivering development outcomes. The challenges of estimating the ‘true cost’ of DFIs ...