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The World Bank Friend Or Foe To The Developing World?

2675 words - 11 pages

When poor countries become desperate for economic help, they turn to the World Bank for loans. However, these loans come with strings attached - the World Bank imposes certain harsh conditions on debtor countries to ensure that their loans will be repaid. The Fund's standard package is designed to "get the economy going again", but the consequences for the poor are catastrophic because the World Bank, to put it loosely, "encourages" more land to be put into exports (increasing dependence on costly food imports), wages to be cut, reduction in state assistance to the poor, and increased ease of access for foreign corporations. These policies are beneficial to the rich countries, but they have had such savage effects on poor Third World people that riots against the World Bank break out from time to time. Far from progressing towards self-sustaining, economic growth, and prosperity, the Third World has fallen into such levels of debt that few would now hold any hope of repayment ($214 billion in 1998) . Some countries now have to pay out most of their annual income just to meet interest payments on the debt. On top of that, the World Bank pays no attention to the environment by clear cutting unusable lands and destroying precious ecosystems, and have now be deemed responsible for a dollar amount of close to a trillion dollars in continuing destruction and wasted money during their "so called" economic projects that are always end up doing a lot more harm then good.Established at Bretton Woods in 1944, the World Bank is the most controversial international organizations in the world today. This is due to the Bank's policies on the least advantaged countries of the world, which fall mainly in Africa and parts of Asia. More specifically, The World Bank, with their plan to "get the economy going again", demands "structural adjustment" and "conditionalities" to be met before any money is authorized to be sent out. Poorer countries have no choice because they desperately need the money to keep their country going. This is a mistake, because country ends up having little to no choice on how the money is spent. They end up with the money being put towards something they did not really need, or want, and it is usually useless to them. The country ends up being worse off then when they began; they have a bigger debt, a higher interest, and a project ex. (No short terms) (road / electrical system) that does them little to no good, and they still do not have a long-term solution to their economic problems.As mentioned above, the term "Structural adjustment" refers to preconditions that the World Bank imposes before loans are made. These "conditionalities" are based on market-oriented ideas that include devaluing the currency, increasing exports while decreasing imports, and decreasing social spending, among other requirements designed to ultimately balance the borrower's budget. This mode of operation was not envisioned to come from the World Bank. It was...

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