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Challenges rise fast, reforms proceed slowly as political blockades remain an issue – Spring Meetings round-up

Finance ministers from around the world gathered in Washington DC last week for the IMF and World Bank spring meetings. Held amid an economic downturn and emerging risks of a new round of debt crises, the key task was to discuss how the two organisations can be made more effective to address these challenges, which threaten to affect people’s lives and derail progress toward development goals.  A gloomy scene for development A dramatic scene was set by the IMF’s flagship publication, the World Economic Outlook, which underlined rising inequality, while revising projections for the global economy down. Economic growth is now expected to slow to 3.3 per cent in 2019, a reduction of 0.4 per cent as compared to their overoptimistic projections from last year.  When economic growth ...

press
Plummeting aid figures fail to meet spending target while leaving poorest behind

Brussels, 10 April 2019 - New preliminary aid figures released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) today show spending in 2018 fell by 2.7 per cent compared to 2017, with the neediest countries being hit hardest. Last year’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) for all OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC) members equaled 0,31 per cent of gross national income, less than half of the 0.7 per cent longstanding spending target – a commitment made ...

press
Eurodad response to selection of David Malpass as the new president of the World Bank Group

On Friday 5 April, David Malpass was selected as the new president of the World Bank Group. Mr. Malpass was the only candidate for the post, after having been nominated by US President Donald Trump. Commenting on the selection, Maria José Romero, Policy and Advocacy Manager at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), said: “It is a missed opportunity that the selection process wasn’t competitive nor transparent. On the contrary, since the World Bank’s founding, ...

blog
EU leadership needs to embed human rights into economic policy-making

Mark Perera

04 Apr 2019 10:20:46

In a valuable step forward to support human rights compliant economic policy-making, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) called on 21 March for governments and intergovernmental organisations to make use of new UN guidance when developing economic reforms. EU states on the HRC boldly exercised their votes to oppose these calls, in a move that stands in direct contrast to EU commitments from only two years ago to adopt a rights-based approach to development, and support countries in building resilience to prepare for and respond to economic shocks without compromising long-term development prospects. New UN guiding principles add to the debt management toolbox The HRC resolution on the effects of foreign debt on the enjoyment of human rights highlights new UN Guiding Principles on human rights ...
Registrations are open for the Eurodad International Conference this June in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This year’s event is co-hosted with Ekvilib Institute and supported by SLOGA platform, Focus and EnaBanda. Asking whether development finance in the ...

blog
International financial institutions, social protection and gender: missing the target

Gino Brunswijck

18 Mar 2019 16:54:17

Social protection has been at the forefront of discussions of late, with it playing a central role in the Sustainable Development Goals, featuring heavily at this year’s United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and as the International Monetary Fund developing an institutional view on social protection. Social protection, including floors, is an important component of the 2030 Agenda for  Sustainable Development, including SDG target 1.3, which reflects the collective pledge to “implement nationally appropriate social protection systems for all, including floors” for reducing and preventing poverty. Moreover, target 1.3 commits all UN Member States to “achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable” by 2030. While the UN links social protection ...

blog
Opinion: It's time to challenge the status quo in picking the World Bank president

Maria Romero

27 Feb 2019 16:02:44

At a time when the legitimacy of the World Bank as a development institution is at stake, countries from around the world are in the process of recruiting the new president of the institution. Any member of the World Bank can put forward a candidate. But since its founding, there has been a gentlemen’s agreement where the United States and its European allies work behind closed doors to ensure a U.S. citizen leads the World Bank, in exchange for the European leadership of the International Monetary Fund. The White House put forward David Malpass — a long-time critic of multilateralism — as its nominee for the institution’s next president, while Lebanon just put a new name on the table, Ziad Hayek, the only known challenger so far to Trump’s nominee. Challenge a failed model The leadership ...