Wealthy countries and the World Bank are forcing the privatization of public services and natural resources in Africa and elsewhere as a condition for development assistance. Impoverished countries are required to turn their public services and natural resources over to private owners. If they want the aid money, they have to sell off their oil, gas, mining, electricity, telecommunications, transportation and water companies. Investors say privitization brings efficiency; opponents say it hurts the poor.
The G7 drives the engine of neo-liberal globalization and controls the most powerful institutions of global finance and trade. It is impossible to speak of the impact of the G7 without discussing the impact of the Bretton Woods financial institutions: the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
A growing chorus of critics from around the world have increasingly questioned the efficacy of World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)-promoted economic policy reforms. As a result, the two institutions renewed vows to fight poverty at their annual meetings in Prague 2000. Uganda is viewed as pivotal to the success of much-publicized efforts to reform the institutions and their policies. Over 41 countries are in the pipeline for the adoption of similar policies, but is Uganda a success?
The on-going debt crisis of developing countries is integral to the perpetuation of an unjust economic system, one that concentrates wealth and power in the hands of a few. EVERY SINGLE DAY in 1999, $128 million was transferred from the poorest countries to the richest in debt repayments. For every one dollar in aid to developing countries, more than seven dollars comes back to rich countries in the form of debt servicing.
Jun. 15, 01:00 EDT
Manley blasts U.S. on farm-aid
Finance minister denounces $190 billion deal
Atlantic Canada Bureau
HALIFAX — Deputy Prime Minister John Manley came out swinging in his international debut as finance minister yesterday, chastising a top U.S. official for helping the drug trade and hurting the poor.
February 8, 2001
Hon. Paul Martin, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Finance House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Dear Minister Martin:
On behalf of the Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative and the Halifax Initiative Coalition, we wish to congratulate you on your decision to place a moratorium on the debt servicing re-quirements of eleven of the world's most heavily indebted poor countries. We believe that this measure, in the spirit of Jubilee, is a welcome contribution to ending the Third World debt crisis. Over the past two years Canada's leadership has played no small part in similar initia-tives by the UK, the US and France. Your initiative indicates to us a willingness to hear the concerns and arguments that we have expressed to you in person and through the petitions and letters of hundreds of thousands of Canadians who believe that it is time to give the poorest countries a new beginning.
June 11, 1999
To the leaders of the Group of Seven nations,
At next week's Summit in Cologne, you will be discussing new directions for public policy governing global markets in order to help prevent or mitigate future financial crises. Measures currently under discussion, including strengthened financial sector supervision, surveillance and transparency, while commendable if adopted, are insufficient to prevent future crises. Similar measures endorsed at your Summit in Halifax in1995 in the wake of the Mexican peso crisis, although not fully adopted, were unable to prevent or even anticipate the South East Asian crash of 1997. Clearly, bolder measures are required.
The consequences of the World Bank's fossil fuel expansion in the global South are proving devastating for the Earth's climate as greenhouse gases generated in mining and burning of fossil fuels are released into the Earth's atmosphere.