European campaigners tell World Bank to cut the strings
5 March 2007
Campaigners from across Europe gathered today in Paris, to call on rich countries to use their financial leverage to force the World Bank to cut the strings it attaches to loans and debt relief.
More than sixty organisations from across Europe - including Jubilee Debt Campaign - have joined together to make a joint call to their governments to 'Put your money where your mouth is'. The organisations are arguing that rich governments should use the power they have as funders of the World Bank to bring about an end to the harmful conditions attached to loans and debt relief, and an end to loans supporting fossil fuel extraction.
The organisations have signed a joint statement (downloadable on the right) arguing that the World Bank "has often contributed to worsening poverty and to environmental degradation in many of the world's poorest countries", and pointing out that European governments, as the main funders of the World Bank, can make a difference. The statement is released as rich country governments meet in Paris, today and tomorrow, to discuss their funding contributions to the World Bank. Some campaigners took action outside the meeting, holding up giant cheques to symolise the money Europe gives to the World Bank, which should be cut unless the World Bank stops imposing conditions and funding environmental destructions.
Jubilee Debt Campaign has long been calling on the UK to use its role in the World Bank and IMF to ensure that these organisations cut the strings attached to debt cancellation. In 2006, we worked with Christian Aid and others to call on the UK government to withhold funding
from the World Bank unless it stopped imposing policy conditions: the UK government did make a stand by withholding £50 million temporarily, although it later released this money. We are now calling on the UK to go further - and really put its money where its mouth is - by withholding further funding.