APRN statement on the 2021 IMF-WBG Annual Meetings

By APRN | October 17, 2021

We, the Asia Pacific Research Network, representing 56 organisations from 18 countries, are one with the fight against IMF-WBG and its anti-people agenda.

For 76 years, the International Monetary Fund – World Bank has forwarded a corrupt and decaying brand of development which excludes the great majority of the world’s peoples. 

Now, its touted “recovery plan” is callousely focused on generating more profit for corporations while poor peoples of the world barely survive from a health and environmental crisis. 

People are dying from the absence of robust public health care systems and lack of people-centered adaptation measures in a climate crisis. All of which are born from and aggravated by the decisions made by IMF-WBG and its executives– decisions they make and continue to make for the poorest and most exploited people of the world. 

The Green, Resilient and Inclusive Development (GRID) framework which claims to be a recovery plan for the pandemic and climate crisis is but a destructive and profit-oriented agenda serving the interest of big businesses. 

Deceitful “green recovery” 

Despite bringing decades of unprecedented inequality and suffering for billions of people, IMF-WBG remains to operate under a neoliberal framework. The latest in its advancement of neoliberalism is a recovery plan that postures as “green” and “inclusive.”

In its Spring Meetings it introduced the deceitful GRID framework even though it remains as one of the biggest enablers and funders of destructive projects. According to a report by People Over Profit, the Bank’s policy lending continues to introduce tax cuts for coal power plants and coal export infrastructure. It was revealed in 2017 that seven World Bank policy operations worth $5 billion intended to boost low-carbon growth were instead channeled to investment incentives for projects that put the environment and people at risk. 

The disastrous impacts of their operations have been most felt by the poorest peoples – the peasants, fisherfolk, migrants, indigenous peoples, workers, urban poor, women, children and the youth, and other marginalized sectors. 

Climate-induced migrants and displaced peoples have been growing in millions while IMF-WBG feigns ignorance for its culpability. Worse, it has promoted migration as the most effective way to reduce poverty glorifying it as “Moving for Prosperity.” It has glossed over the fact that the extreme poverty and the climate crisis it has perpetuated are forcing millions of people to leave their families and homes in the hopes of finding better employment and refuge. 

Amid a “code red” alarm on the climate crisis, IMF-WBG continues to promote the exporting and over extraction of natural resources. With majority of gold, copper and high-value mineral production taking place on indigenous peoples territories, the World Bank alone continues to finance these extractive industries. This meant generations of massive displacement, deprivation of living spaces, resources, and livelihoods for peasants and indigenous peoples. 

The decades of neoliberal doctrine espoused by IMF-WBG has destroyed local ecosystems and made communities more and more vulnerable to impacts of the climate crisis.    


People’s lives in exchange of corporate recovery
Even in a public health crisis, IMF-WBG remains unfazed in its charge towards the privatization of public services and adoption of austerity measures. Neoliberal policies imposed by the Bank and Fund have destroyed what remains of the healthcare systems of the developing nations. 

The privatization of health and public services continue to be incentivized and presented as a means to boost economic growth. Recently, almost all of the COVID loans from IMF encourage, if not, force poor countries hard hit by the economic recession from the pandemic to implement aggressive austerity measures. 

These enforcement of further cuts to social services will only lead to greater inaccessibility to healthcare, exclusion of the marginalized and worse, more deaths. While people die, the priority has been the private sector as the financial institutions choose to allocate $8 billion USD of its $14 billion Emergency Response fund to capitalist enterprises. This is what “recovery” means to IMF-WBG– bailing out the corporations at the expense of people’s lives. 

Anti-austerity protest: Thousands march in central London against Government cuts (standard.co.uk)

Push back to reclaim our future
Since the establishment of IMF-WBG, its loan conditionalities and policies have been dragging poorer countries into deeper poverty and greater inequalities. In a pandemic, it has not only proven its allegiance to the corporate interests but now hides behind a “recovery” plan pretending to solve the very problems it has created. 

Our task now as a Network of advocacy and research is that we must continue to expose the IMF-World Bank, as we did year after year, for what is– an anti-people and corrupt global financial institution that continues to corporatize development at the cost of peoples lives. 

APRN commits to continue working with peoples movements rallying against IMF-WBG be it in the streets or in parliamentary engagements at the local, national and global levels. 

As we join this Global Day of Action, our Network is in solidarity with movements and civil society calling for the abolition of the IMF and World Bank. We believe in an alternative multilateral financial cooperation based on peoples’ rights and sovereignty, equality, development justice, and the peoples’ collective power over the economy. 

APRN commits to continue working with
peoples movements rallying against IMF-WBG
be it in the streets or in parliamentary engagements
at the local, national and global levels. 

Again, we reject its hypocritical recovery framework while one with the peasants, workers, indigenous peoples, migrants and marginalized groups in reclaiming our future from the IMF-WBG’s greed!#

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