Columnist Walden Bello met an old contact from the World Bank during the World Bank-IMF joint annual meetings in Prague, Czech Republic, on Sept. 26 to 28. The following is his account of the events that unfolded around him during that fateful conference. Antonio Andrade is not his real name.
WASHINGTON -- The White House and Congress are trumpeting their determination to bring economic opportunity to the people of Africa. But first, a few million sub-Saharan farmers will have to suffer.
Local communities in Nigeria are taking the World Bank before an internal auditor over claims that the lender neglected its duties and anti-poverty mission when it funded a controversial gas pipeline in the region, whose construction they say will harm the environment and area residents.
We encourage all people to support nonviolence rather than retaliation as the appropriate response to these acts. Similarly, we urge our leaders in Washington to refrain from responding to this tragedy in a manner that visits more pain and suffering on an already sorrowed world. We also join in urging everyone to resist assigning responsibility to any particular group.
Investment Technology Group (ITG), a U.S. stock broker, paid a $20.3 million fine for running a secret operation named Project Omega to take advantage of "dark pools" trading orders made by its clients. Experts say that Barclays and Credit Suisse may also soon pay fines for dark pools trading scams.
Ravi Kanbur, lead author of the World Bank's forthcoming World Development Report (WDR) on Poverty, has tendered his resignation. He has sent a letter to senior Bank management expressing his concerns about what he saw as unreasonable pressure to tone down WDR sections on globalisation.
Tell the World Bank to stop funding incinerators. Dioxin factories are not ''sustainable development''! Stand in solidarity on Sep. 25 with people in Kenya, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico, India, Brazil, Turkey, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, South Korea, Bulgaria, and the U.K. as they tell the World Bank to break its ugly incinerator habit.
Washington, D.C. and Manila (September 25, 2002) -- The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) today released a new report documenting the World Bank's continued funding of incineration, a polluting technology receiving intense criticism in many countries. The report, available online at www.no-burn.org, documents 156 World Bank Group projects in 68 countries in the last 10 years that have promoted incineration; 26 of those projects were initiated since 2001, including two projects that recommended incinerating PCBs in Argentina and Brazil, an Indian project that recommended incinerating PVC byproducts, and another Indian project that recommended an incinerator at a pesticide plant.
The heads of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund told 12 African leaders it would be impossible to cancel the entire debt of the world's poorest nations, as many have asked.