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IMF and WCC Discuss Global Poverty
The International Monetary Fund and World Council of Churches are talking.
The World Council of Churches has over the last years been very critical of the role of multi-national corporations in developing countries around the world. The International Monetary Fund has not been known for its interest in poverty reduction, especially since the 1980s when Ronald Reagan appointed people committed to neoliberal economics.
But on February 13-14, 2003, representatives of both organizations came together in Geneva. An IMF Survey Newsletter reports on the meeting. "The discussions were successful in allowing participants both to address fundamental misunderstandings and to help establish a basis of trust for continuing a constructive dialog."
Several IMF staff members said that there has been a paradigm shift within the IMF, particularly as signalled by something called the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. It appears that now the IMF will consider it important to promote policies "geared to reducing powerty and increasing equity." If this is correct it certainly does reflect a large shift in the IMF.
In response to this item Ndongolera C. Mwangupili wrote on 9/30/04:
Subject: IMF and WCC Discuss Global Poverty
Message: I still doubt if at all IMF is concerned with the poverty in the developing countries. On paper the Poverty Redaction Strategy Paper is quite beautiful but nothing concrete is happening on the ground where the mass are suffering. I am in Africa, Malawi,and I hear tne noise on the radio that Politicians and some big bosses are at a lake resort descussing issues concerning poverty with some IMF Representatives. From there they come out with Utopian message, promising to reduce poverty and even eliminating it altogether from the surface of the country. But we end up waiting for the paradise that never comes. My question is: what does the IMF do to ensure that the problem of poverty is addressed at the grass root level rather than in Conference halls and hotels only as is the case in my country.
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