The International Monetary Fund turns 65 this year. Until the current economic crisis, it had reduced its workload drastically to a near-retirement level — its total loan portfolio plummeted by 92 percent in four years. But like many senior citizens, the Fund has kept working past retirement age — and is now expanding its responsibilities.
The I.M.F. has a track record that seems to have been almost completely ignored in discussions of a proposed $750 billion increase in its resources. Nearly 12 years ago, a financial crisis hit Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. The word “contagion” became part of the financial reporting lexicon as the crisis spread to Russia, Brazil, Argentina and other countries. Continue reading
By DEB RIECHMANN –
WASHINGTON (AP) — The global economic crisis has stymied the international community’s effort to halve extreme poverty by 2015 and meet other goals to reduce hunger, fight disease and get young children to school, the World Bank warned on Friday.
A report released in conjunction with this week’s meeting of the bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington said the financial meltdown is impeding efforts to achieve most of the eight U.N. millennium development goals. Although it still may be possible to reach the first goal — halving extreme poverty by 2015 from its 1990 level — it will be an uphill battle, according to “The Global Monitoring Report 2009: A Development Emergency.” Continue reading
Rare international consensus ensured that the new millennium heralded the promise of a fairer world for poor countries, symbolised by undertakings to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Suddenly, a combination of science and observation makes it clear that climate change will impact developing countries much harder and sooner than the richer countries which have caused the phenomenon. With the Millennium Declaration potentially undermined, the moral predicament demands greater levels of international cooperation and resource transfer than have been seen since 1945..
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