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World without World Bank campaign commences | Press Release

Copy of World Bank and International Finance Legacy, Lessons and Current Struggles (Poster (Landscape))

A seminar on World Bank & International Finance: Legacy, Lessons & Current Struggles organized by Working Group on IFIs.

21st April 2022; New Delhi: A seminar was organised on the theme “World Bank & International Finance: Legacy, Lessons & Current Struggles” by the Working Group on IFIs and Financial Accountability Network as a part of the World Without World Bank Campaign at India International Centre, Delhi. The keynote address was  delivered by Medha Patkar, who highlighted on-ground concerns of the changing economic and cultural landscape for India’s marginalized communities.  She further added that, “This is due to the unregulated flow of international finance and capital flows, which are driven by a profit motive and not concerned with improving the lives of citizens.”

The three panels session provided several nuances and points of discussion on various aspects of international finance and ongoing struggles in the South Asian contexts. The session tilled titled Legacy of World Bank and MDB’s: Looking back at experiences from India saw Gajendra Bhai (Sarpanch Navinal Gram Panchayat), Vimal Bhai (Matu Jansangathan), Ram Wangkheirakpam (Indigenous Perspectives), R Shreedhar (Environics Trust) and Anuradha Munshi (Center for Financial Accountability) on the panel. They addressed specific International Finance projects like the Tata Mundra project, Sasan Ultra Mega Project and the Trans Asian Highway project, which have significantly displaced indigenous populations, destroyed aquatic life and fertile land. The projects lack any real grievance mechanisms and do not operate along the lines of transparency and accountability.

The second session, titled Legacy of World Bank and MDB’s: Looking back at global experiences was addressed by Kate Geary (Recourse, UK), Chiara Mariotti (Eurodad, Belgium), Andri Prasetiyo (Trend Asia, Indonesia) and Htet Aung Shine (IFI Watch, Myanmar). The panelists focussed on the current concerns and struggles particularly in relation to financial mechanisms and current struggles in Asia. Concerts were raised on how financial intermediary investments continue to support coal and fossil fuel based investments despite commitment to Paris Alignment. Another speaker focussed on how Development Policy Financing is enabling policy changes in developing nations in the name of prior actions. Other speakers shared about the struggles and challenges being faced in Indonesia and Myanmar through World Bank investments.

In the concluding session the panelists focussed on International finance in the current times: Looking forward. The panelists included Leo Saldanha (Environment Support Group), Swathi Seshadri (Center for Financial Accountability),  Krishnakant (Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti/NAPM), Gaurav Dwivedi (Center for Financial Accountability), Soumya Dutta (Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha/MAUSAM), and Sarath Cheloor (NAPM)l. They stressed the complexities of private financing and the difficulties in obtaining financial data. With case studies from the petrochemical industry, climate finance. Speakers also threw light on the projects like  and bullet train project in Ahmedabad and K-rail in Kerala, highlighting the significant role of private international finance and that of national governments in sustaining projects that create and perpetuate environmental, social and human rights violations.

The World Without World Bank campaign organised by the Working Group on IFIs which consists of numerous civil society organizations in India come together to try and expose the Bank, understand its agenda and investments  and to understand the wide-ranging impacts of World Bank financing  on India’s political economy.

World Bank & International Finance: Legacy, Lessons & Current Struggles

World Without World Bank 

Date: 21st April, 2022

Venue: Seminar Hall II, Kamla Devi Complex, India International Centre, New Delhi

Theme: World Bank & International Finance: Legacy, Lessons & Current Struggles

Register to attend: https://forms.gle/AfGiUHjVjZCXgGGz8

WWWB 2022

Introduction

The World Bank and IMF are having their Spring Meetings virtually from the 22nd to 24th of April, 2022 where these institutions will go ahead and laud themselves for the achievement of dolling out billions of dollars for supporting economies through the pandemic and in rebuilding. Through these loans it is defining development and reshaping policies and economies and the questions of accountability of these institutions keep getting brushed under the carpet.

Since the past few years, the Working Group on IFIs (WGon IFIs) has been organizing the World Without World Bank campaign where civil society, activists, grassroots movements, trade unions come together to question and challenge Multilateral Development Banks, their influence, policies and investments which. For the past three years, WGonIFIs have been conducting social media campaigns and conducting online webinars questioning and challenging these institutions. Last year, we looked at the role of MDBs in pushing for farm laws(now repealed) and the role of the World Bank and IMF in pushing the  agenda of privatization, commodification and corporatization.

Theme: The World Without World Bank will be organized under the theme of World Bank & International Finance: Legacy, Lessons & Current Struggles. As MDBs in the past two years have redefined themselves, they have also used pandemic to bring in new investments and policy loans with very less deliberations on accountability considering the impact and scale of policy changes these investments bring. This exists along with project investments which bring in human rights violations, environmental and social degradation. Despite having accountability frameworks none of these accountability mechanisms have either provided relief or justice to the people. It is time we examine the newer complex ways in which these institutions operate and dodge accountability. This is also an opportunity to look beyond MDB’s and look at the new funding modalities like private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and more and look at the issues of accountability in context of these funds and also explore how we can look at the issues of accountability in context of these changing realities and of traditional project finance where failures and gaps within of accountability systems are more than evident.

As the Financial Accountability Network and Working Group on IFIs we have been addressing, questioning and challenging these developments collectively. This year we are organizing the three panel discussions under the banner of World Without World Bank as a physical event at IIC, Delhi.

On the 21st April, a one-day seminar (3 panels) on accountability in the context of MBDs and changing world of finance. Given the inflow of private funds, bilateral funding, pension funds and many others constantly changing the dynamics of financing and accountability, it’s important for us to collectively understand and strategize as to how we want to monitor and hold financiers accountable in this increasingly complex financing situation.

Register to attend: https://forms.gle/AfGiUHjVjZCXgGGz8

Screenshot (142)

To join virtually:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89285564286?pwd=d1hxSm1tUkIxWG5PY2RLU0hnSkxtUT09

Meeting ID: 892 8556 4286

Passcode: 138460

People’s Summit on BRICS from 18th to 22nd October, 2021

Register here to participate in the online summit: 

tinyurl.com/peoplesbrics-2021-register 

As the 13th BRICS Summit was recently held and chaired by India, the People’s Forum on BRICS (a network of people’s movements, progressive civil society organizations, and trade unions) is convening a 5-day online People’s Summit on BRICS from 18th to 22nd October, 2021.

The People’s forum on BRICS in response to the official summit which failed in living upto the principles of people’s issues and their participation, will create a space where a network of people’s movements, progressive civil society organizations, and trade unions from across the BRICS nations to discuss, analyze, question, and seek alternatives to the agendas that are being undemocratically pushed in our countries and to discuss and challenge the positions that BRICS grouping is placing at international forum. The Forum is being held in India for the second time, the first being in 2016 in Goa, when the official Summit was held in Goa. But due to COVID, the forum has been moved online.

The People’s Forum will attempt to raise critical voices from marginalised sections on social, ecological, political and economic concerns that are often ignored at inter-governmental processes such as BRICS. The focus is to build solidarities across borders among social movements, progressive civil society organizations and to advance an alternative model of development that puts people before profit.

The BRICS bloc, initially envisioned as an association of emerging economies to challenge the economic & financial clout of developed western economies, of the dollar supremacy, and developmental suzerainty of the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO, has over time done very little to disrupt the status quo. The nations in the bloc are characterized by complex socio-political realities, supremacist ideologies, ethno-nationalist compulsions, divergent economic and political trajectories, profound inequalities, in the wider background of the climate crisis. These diversities have stymied rather than strengthened the resolve of BRICS’ mandate of transforming global economic governance based on principles of equitability by being more receptive to the interests of developing nations. In other words, it is seemingly mirroring the very global actors it had purportedly stood up to challenge.

Through the 5 days there will be discussions on seven broad thematic areas in the context of BRICS nations including Pandemic and Disaster Resilience; Geo-economics & Economic Partnership; Geo-politics, Gender, Energy, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Labour Rights and Social Justice.

The Inaugural Plenary will take place on 18th October, 2021 and the thematic sessions will take place on 19th, 20th, 21st October, 2021 and the forum will draw to a close with the Closing Plenary happening on 22nd October, 2021. The schedule for all the sessions with joining and registration details can be found on the official website (https://peoplesbrics.wordpress.com/). The events are open for all the members of the public. Those interested can register on this link for all the sessions (tinyurl.com/peoplesbrics-2021-register) and can register for individual sessions on the website.

Link to the Program Schedule:

Peoples’ Forum on BRICS

Website: https://peoplesbrics.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peoplesbrics/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: @PeoplesBrics

People’s Forum on BRICS: Call for participation & registration of panels

18th -22nd October, 2021; India

Register for organising panels  on various thematic areas by 24th of September, 2021. 

The People’s BRICS Forum 2021 is being convened  to articulate people’s agenda and learn from each other. As the People’s BRICS  will be organised online, we encourage various progressive civil society organisations people’s movements and, trade unions across BRICS nations to come onboard to organize panels under the following overarching thematic areas –

  • BRICS, Pandemic, and Disaster Resilience  ( health policy, vaccine policy, Intellectual property rights- vaccine & treatment, employment, disaster resilience)
  • BRICS Geo-economics &  Economic Partnerships (Upcoming WTO negotiations, SDR and Debt issues, Global Value chains, Finance and Banking , Trade, Taxation, International Financial Institutions)
  • Geo-politics and BRICS (Cooperation among nations, debating the BRICS geopolitical system, maritime infrastructure, coastal governance)
  • BRICS, Energy, Climate change and Natural Resources (Climate change, just transitions, questions of energy, renewables, fossil fuels, energy poverty, climate change finance, biodiversity finance, natural asset valuation)
  • BRICS and Gender (women and economic empowerment, access to productive resources, women and IFIs, sustainable work and decent livelihoods, discrimination and violence)
  • BRICS and Labour Rights (future of work, question of labor value, informality and precarity, social security, pension fund, fair wages, migration, basic income debate, employment)
  • BRICS and Social Justice (race, class, caste, sexual minorities, disability and other vulnerable groups)

Please submit  your proposal  or expression of interest to hold panels under the aegis/banner of People’s BRICS Forum 2021 either individually or as a collective of organisations. 

  • Consider hosting and co-hosting a panel on the themes mentioned above. Please fill out the form for organising panels(link above) to collaborate on organising sessions by 24th of September, 2021. 
  • Write for us at peoplesforumonbrics@gmail.com – In the spirit of having a diverse set of progressive voices, we welcome you or a group from your organisation to write position papers, issue papers, briefing notes, literature reviews, background papers and blog for us. This could be done individually or collectively. The submissions can be made in any language. 

Important dates:

Announcement for People’s BRICS Forum10th September, 2021
Call for Participation and Registration of Panels Open 14th September, 2021
Deadline for Panel Proposals 24th September, 2021
Finalisation of proposals 27th-30th September, 2021
Announcement  of programme 3rd October, 2021

BRICS Summit: People’s Forum calls it “lost opportunity” 

Civil Society Groups to hold People’s Forum on BRICS in October 2021

New Delhi, September 10:

The 13th BRICS Summit, chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by Brazil President Jair Bolsanaro, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Chinese President Xi Jinping was held in a virtual format yesterday. While the summit’s focus was on the pandemic, multilaterliam and counter terrorism, activists state that the summit was exclusionary, failing to address complex issues facing the world today and BRICS countries.

As a response to the official summit which failed in living upto the principles of people’s issues and their participation, the People’s Forum on BRICS is organising a week-long online people’s summit, to discuss the concerns and challenges facing the BRICS nations and its people in October, 2021.

Amid the raging pandemic wrecking havoc to the lives and livelihoods of millions, the summit did not  address the systemic failures of the healthcare systems across countries. A transparent and scientific  process to understand further mutation of the virus to fight it was not mooted at the summit.

Activists stated that the official summit process has completely sidelined the people and their concerns. Madhuresh Kumar, National Convener of National Alliance for People’s Movements, India said; “In these times of climate and health crisis what we need is true people to people interaction and solidarity and genuine efforts at solving the world’s problems. BRICS countries together account for a significant mass of humanity and at this historical juncture unfortunately narrow politics is taking precedence over people’s lives and their democratic aspirations.”

As healthcare systems collapsed, economies took a huge hit too, barring China, every other BRICS country has gone into the negative terrain of growth. The pace of recovery remains sluggish although BRICS decided to strengthen its collective efforts to address the economic and financial slide. The absence of a concrete action plan has once again questioned if the original mandate of BRICS to challenge the western dominion of finance would actually be realizable.

 Patrick Bond,  scholar-activist based in Johannesburg said, “Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro favoured the restrictive World Trade Organisation rules protecting Big Pharma and intellectual property,  Russia’s Sputnik vaccine profit potential left Vladimir Putin quiet. As a bloc, the BRICS did not offer formal support to South Africa and India’s bid to waive intellectual property, and the supposed BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre announced at the 2018 summit in Johannesburg remains a myth.”

The process of Civil BRICS has also been a complete sham. Priti Darooka from the BRICS Feminist watch pointed out failures in engaging with the civil society. She stated, “India as the host this year for the BRICS Summit had the opportunity as the largest democracy to expand and build Civil BRICS as a platform for a true, meaningful and engaged participation of civil society — people to people — from BRICS.  Unfortunately, Civil BRICS this year was a total disappointment.  Firstly, it was the best kept secret that no one knew about. And secondly, it was shrunk to a panel with only a couple of civil society representatives from just one country and totally coordinated by the government.”

Responding to the official Summit Patrick Bond, said, “These BRICS are ‘spalling,’ which as any builder fears, signals that the masonry is deteriorating and chunks are falling off a wall. We’re in a time the world desperately needs a strong front against Western imperial powers, especially so as to combat the climate catastrophe and COVID-19 vaccine apartheid. There were no emissions-cut announcements and of the 7000 words, only a handful addressed the world’s most serious crisis: climate catastrophe.”

The People’s forum is being jointly organised by Trade Unions, Civil Society Organisations.  In 2016, the People’s Forum on BRICS took place in Goa prior to the official summit and was attended by more than 700 people including activists from various BRICS countries. There were similar peoples’ forums parallel to the official BRICS Summit in Durban in 2013, Fortaleza in 2014, Hong Kong in 2017, Johannesburg in 2018 and Brasilia in 2019.

———————————————————————————

For More Information Contact:

Anuradha Munshi: +919792411555

Sumedha Pal:+9711055753

Email: peoplesforumonbrics@gmail.com

G20 Research Fellowships- Call for Abstracts

Beginning in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, G20 started convening as an informal group of economically significant countries, now accounting for 85 percent of the world economy, 75 percent of global trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population, including more than half of the world’s poor and marginalized. The G-20 has the mandate to promote global economic growth, international trade, and regulation of financial markets. G20 along with Multilateral Development Banks shape the global financial architecture, with G20 being in a position to dictate the direction taken by IMF and MDBs.

12 years on, and 13 summits later, in 2021, the world is at a juncture not very far away from the 2008 crisis but vulnerabilities ranging far beyond just the financial crisis and inequalities exacerbating further. The temporal factors concerning the G20 nations require critical examination on a number of fronts for India’s presidency in 2023. The G20  mandate of preserving financial stability and macroeconomic coordination cannot be tackled without diving into the questions of structural change on the global and domestic levels. As new agendas are set and more flagship issues emerge, year after year, we also see an increment in the G20 stakeholders, leading us to questions of international cooperation, governance structure, and legitimacy of the club. Critics have also questioned the efficacy of the club and its credibility to deal with pressing issues in comparison to other similar groupings, as a self-selected group of economically powerful countries. The coming together of such heavyweights also brings into question the legitimacy of other multilateral organizations and or G20’s collusion with World Bank and IMF agendas.

With this backdrop, the Centre for Financial Accountability welcomes applications for the G20 Research Fellowship through the call for abstracts from the research community delving into the critical and scholarly study of the  G20 convening.

Submitted abstracts that are accepted for publication will be eligible for the G20 Research fellowship of ₹25,000 each, guided towards developing the research article/paper of 5000-7000 word length. We are looking to publish 10 scholarly articles/research papers into an edited volume or compendium.

Submissions must contribute towards a critical understanding of the G20 framework.  The aim is to bring together researchers representing different disciplines and methodological approaches. Possible topics include agendas discussed in the G20 meetings like the global economic framework, infrastructure development, international taxation, international financial architecture;  or priority agendas like the pandemic, climate change, disaster resilience, gender, sustainable development, migration, debt, the culture of cooperation, sectoral learnings; and/or policy discussions around the institutional structures of club governance formats, the associated comparative analysis and the questions of legitimacy regarding such forums of cooperation. This list is not all-inclusive; authors are free to submit abstracts on other topics that may be of interest to the understanding of G20 grouping.

Participants

Fellowship is open to researchers from India and remains open for co-authorship.

Submission Requirements

All submissions are to be directed via email to [fellowship@cenfa.org] with the subject line “CFA_G20 Fellowships_Abstract Submission”.

Every submission must include two required elements, as part of the email body:

  • Author(s) bio/contact information – Include short biographical paragraphs (up to 150 words per author) that lists the current position, affiliation (if any), and qualifications.
  • Abstract – The abstracts should reveal the purpose, problem statement, conceptual framework of the work in question, approach, etc. including five (5) keywords, and should be a minimum of 500 words and up to 750 words (excluding references).

If you have any questions, please write to [fellowship@cenfa.org] with the subject line “CFA_G20 Fellowships_Query”.

Important Dates

Abstract Submission Deadline: 30 June 2021

Announcement of the Accepted Submissions: 15 July 2021

First Draft of the Manuscript Deadline: 25 August 2021

Full Manuscript Submission Deadline: 15 September 2021

World Without World Bank: Action Week India – April 5 to 9, 2021

World Without World Bank 
Action Week India – 5th to 9th April 2021

Context

The World Bank and IMF are having their Spring Meetings(virtual) from the 5th to 9th April , 2021 where these institutions will go ahead and laud themselves for the achievement of dolling out billions of dollars for supporting economies through the pandemic. Through these loans it is defining development and reshaping policies and economies. In India, from support for privatisation of the banking sector to support for the new farm laws, electricity reforms, privatisation of coasts and sea, the IMF and the World Bank have been very clear on the neoliberal reform agenda.

Why: It is important as civil society, we respond and expose the Bank’s hidden agendas and lack of interest in inclusive and sustainable development for marginalised communities. The Bank is organising its Spring Meetings(virtual) from the 5th to 9th April, 2021.

What: As a sign of protest to the World Bank’s policies, interventions, and impacts on economies, Indian groups under the aegis of Working Group on IFIs (WGoIFIs.net) is organising a week of protest “World Without World Bank- Action Week” from 5th to 9th April, 2021 .”

How: As a part of the week long protest, we plan to collectively organise social media campaigns, webinars, release press statements, through the week focussing on the World Bank’s role in impacting policies, development agenda, governance structures in general, on different sectors and impacts on people.

What can you do:

  1. Tweet with relevant hashtags according to the theme of each day. The hashtags would be shared soon.

  2. Post short videos on Twitter and other Social Media in English, Hindi and regional languages and share with us so that we can amplify the voices.

  3. Post articles/blogs/opinion pieces on the issue.

  4. Issue Press Statements in regional/local media.

  5. Organize Online Meetings/Webinars in your groups and networks.

  6. Share Cartoons, Posters, Photos of Protest Against the World Bank (even earlier ones will do).

Please do share any resource materials/press statements/event information with us so that we can amplify them. You can send them via email at anuradha@cenfa.org

Themes of the day:

5th April 2021
World Bank reform agenda : Agricultural Reforms

6th April 2021 
Support to Campaign to stop doing business report

7th April, 2021 
Privatisation of rivers, coasts & sea

8th April, 2021
Energy sector reforms and role of IFIs

9th  April, 2021
Banking Reforms

More details will follow.

World Without World Bank Possible: Activists

Action Week on World Bank Brings Together Social & Political Activists, Probing their Past  and Demanding Accountability

Press Release |  October 16, 2020

New Delhi: A key message reverberating in the week long protest action was that a World Without World Bank is possible. Participated by people’s movements, civil society groups, senior political and social activists and concerned citizens, the week witnessed multiple actions, within the limitations imposed upon by the pandemic.

The Action Week from October 12-16, under aegis of Working Group on International Financial Institutions (WGonIFIs) was observed by online meetings, webinars and using social media to look into the past performance of the World Bank in critical sectors, which impacted the economy as a whole, and in particular, people, their livelihoods and environment. The purpose behind the protest week was to expose the Bank’s hidden agendas to push neo-liberalization and a lack of focus on either inclusive or sustainable support for the countries and people battling marginalisation. 

The week-long protest saw senior political and social activists and concerned citizens voice their concerns regarding the manner in which the World Bank has been pushing for a policy reform agenda changing the Indian economy and polity against the interests, rights and basic needs of the common citizens. In a video message eminent activist Medha Patkar stated World Bank is undemocratically influencing our policies, impacting our sovereignty and violating our constitution.” She further stated that “We can live without the World bank. The World without the World Bank can certainly be taking the alternative path, which we all are compelled to think about after COVID-19 and all calamities based on climate change.”

Many other activists, academicians and trade unionists voiced their concern over the manner in which the Bretton Woods Institutions have been pushing for privatisation in public services, dilution of environmental and labour laws, exploitation of natural resources in the name of Development , which have been detrimental to the interests of the marginalised. The other voices included Goldman Environmental Prize winner Prafulla Samantara, noted environmentalist Vandana Shiva, Afsar Jafri of GRAIN, CPI(M) Central Committee Member Vijoo Krishnan, Amulya Nidhi of Jan Swasthya Abhiyaan (JSA), Leo Saldanha of Environmental Support Group (ESG), Right Livelihood Award winner Sandeep Pandey, Former General Secretary of All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) Com. Thomas Franco; Madhuresh Kumar of National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM),  General Secretary of  Bank Employees Federation of India (Tamil Nadu) C.P. Krishnan, Joint Secretary of All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) Com. Devidas Tuljapurkar, Maju Varghese of Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), General Secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) Com. Amarjeet Kaur, environmentalist Ashish Kothari,  President of Nagpur Municipal Corporation Employees Union Jammu Anand, Sreedhar Ramamurthi of Environics Trust, Vimal Bhai of Matu Jan Sangathan, Patron of All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) K. Ashok Rao, Rajkumar Sinha of Chutka Parmanu Virodhi Sagarsh Samiti, Ashok Shrimali of Mines Mineral & People (MMP), energy expert Soumya Dutta and others who spoke about the impact of World Bank investments and reform agenda on agriculture, energy, environment, banking, health care sectors and on labour rights.

As part of the week long action, two international webinars were organized “IMF-World Bank: Did the Reform Agenda Get A Booster? –  Experiences Globally” and “World Bank’s role in creating Smart Cities  and it’s Socio political Impacts in Developing Countries- Voices from the South and Covid- 19” on the 13th and 15th of October, 2020. These webinars brought together speakers from the Netherlands, Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and India. Researchers, civil society members from across the world participated in the webinars, which especially brought together the voices from the global south,  coming together to discuss the commonalities of experiences vis-a-vis World Bank investments and policy push. 

In the webinar on COVID-19 speakers Nezir Saini from Recourse based in Netherlands, Hasan Mehedi from Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN), Bangladesh  and Anuradha Munshi from Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA) agreed on the concerns regarding the increasing external debt situation as the support from these institutions are in form of loans. IMF and World Bank funding for COVID-19 in developing countries is attached to policy reforms which will affect the social and health sectors and  encourage private players. This would be disastrous when the need for good public health infrastructure and care is more than ever before. 

In the webinar on Smart Cities speakers Jelson Garcia, an Independent researcher from Philippines, Elisa Sutanudjaja from Rujak Center for Urban Studies, Indonesia, Prof. Kris Hartley from The Education University of Hong Kong, and Gaurav Dwivedi, Centre for Financial Accountability agreed that the World Bank’s push for large and smart infrastructure has disempowered the already marginalised communities and pushed them to peripheries, destroyed traditional livelihoods, undermined the local governance bodies like municipal corporations and is creating parallel governance structures and pushing for privatisation of public services through PPP model, etc.

The movements and CSOs vowed to intensify monitoring World Bank and other international financial institutions and their agenda, negatively impacting India and its economy.

Resources

Recording of Webinar :

  1. World Bank’s Role In Creating Smart Cities  And It’s Socio Political Impacts In Developing Countries – Voices from the South: https://www.facebook.com/wgonifis/videos/912890472453195/
  2. “Covid-19 and IMF-World Bank: Did the Reform Agenda Get A Booster? –  Experiences Globally”: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=255382015914969

The Video messages of Medha Patkar, Prafulla Samantara, Vandana Shiva and others can be accessed here:  https://wgonifis.net/videoswwwb/

Issued by Working Group on International Financial Institutions (WGonIFIs).

Contact:

Anuradha Munshi – anuradha@cenfa.org / 9792411555

Nishank – nishank@cenfa.org / 9910137929

Working Group on International Finance Institutions (WGonIFIs) is a collective of organisations and individuals in India to critically look at and evaluate the policies, programmes and investments of various International Finance Institutions (IFIs), and joining the celebration of the people and communities across the world in resisting them.


Indian Civil Society Groups Announce “World Without World Bank” Action Week

Highlight the Impacts on Key Sectors in India During IMF-WB 2020 Annual Meetings

Date: 12 October, 2020

New Delhi: People’s Movements, Civil Society Groups, and concerned citizens are coming together to protest the World Bank’s policies, interventions and impacts which negatively impacted the Indian economy as a whole, and in particular in some key sectors, in a week-long protest, “World Without World Bank – Action Week India” from October 12-16. The purpose behind the protest week is to expose the Bank’s hidden agendas to push neo-liberalization and a lack of focus on either inclusive or sustainable support for the countries and people battling marginalisation.

The IMF-Bank is having its 2020 Annual General Meetings (virtual) from October 12-18, 2020.  

The World Bank Group continues to be the lead Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) defining development and reshaping policies and economies to fit the neoliberal agenda. COVID-19 has provided the Bank a window to reinvent its relevance through support to countries in fighting the pandemic. This support is coming through development policy loans which are silently pushing for policy reforms. The Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, now tainted and halted for fudging of data, has played a devastating role in watering down environmental and labour laws in India and elsewhere. The Bank’s World Development Report for 2021, which sets forth the interest and direction of its investments, points towards commodification of data. 

India’s engagement with the World Bank dates back to several decades back with the first lending in ‘50s for the railway project. Later in 1968 a huge protest against the then World Bank President Robert McNamara for his role in the Vietnam war as the Defence Secretary of US, when he visited Kolkata led to his return from the airport itself, without being allowed to step out of it due to protests.

The late ‘80s and early ‘90s witnessed protests against World Bank lending to Narmada dam and later Singrauli power projects, directly resulting in World Bank’s withdrawal from Narmada dam and constitution of Inspection Panel, the first ever accountability mechanism in any MDB.

In late ‘90s, government tried to nominate WB staff to the Planning Commission of India, which the Left parties vehemently opposed and thwarted.

A number of protests happened during the decades of 90s and 2000s. Some of the significant ones are against Vishnugad Pipalkoti and Allain Duhangan hydro projects, Mumbai Urban Transport Project, struggles against the privatisation of health, water and power sectors.

The decade following that saw a valiant struggle against the power project in Kutch Gujarat – the Tata Mundra project. Filing a case in United States against the private sector arm of the World Bank – the International Finance Corporation – resulted in the Supreme Court of US ruling that World Bank does not enjoy absolute immunity from law suits, taking the efforts to hold MDBs accountable to a different level and giving an opportunity to communities around the globe to hold World Bank legally liable for the damages causing to them because of irresponsible lending.

The Bank continues to grow its influence in India through state partnerships impacting local governance structures. They pursue new and what seem to be more lucrative territories promoting privatisation and commodification of data, coastal regions, large renewables, large infrastructure, agriculture, health, etc. with little regard to impacts on communities, their rights over resources and to human rights. With the approach of maximising finance for development, there is a deeper connection of Development Finance Institutions with private financial entities making funding more complex and difficult to trace. These institutions despite claims of responsible funding and poverty alleviation continue to operate with lack of accountability and transparency.  

During the week-long protest Indian groups plan to organise a media campaign, online seminars and meetings to highlight the impacts of  the World Bank funding  in various sectors in India including health, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, labour, environment and on the Bank’s agenda of neoliberal policy reforms.

For more details: www.wgonifis.net

Issued by Working Group on International Financial Institutions.

Contact:

Anuradha Munshi – anuradha@cenfa.org / 9792411555

Nishank – nishank@cenfa.org / 9910137929

Working Group on International Finance Institutions (WGonIFIs) is a collective of organisations and individuals in India to critically look at and evaluate the policies, programmes and investments of various International Finance Institutions (IFIs), and joining the celebration of the people and communities across the world in resisting them.

World Without World Bank

Action Week -India; 12th  to 16th October, 2020

Context

The World Bank Group (WBG) continues to be the lead Multilateral Development Bank defining development and reshaping policies and economies to fit the neo liberal agenda. COVID-19 has provided the Bank a window to reinvent its relevance through support to countries in fighting the pandemic. This support is coming through development policy loans which are silently pushing for policy reforms. The Bank’s now tainted and halted for fudging of data,  Ease of Doing Business report has played a devastating role in watering down environmental and labour laws in India. The Bank’s World development Report for 2021, which sets forth the interest and direction of its investments, points towards commodification of data. 

The World Bank continues to grow its influence in India through state partnerships impacting local governance structures. They continue to venture into new and what seem to be more lucrative territories promoting privatisation and commodification of data, coastal regions, large renewables, large infrastructure, agriculture, health with little regard to impacts on communities, their rights over resources and to human rights. With the approach of maximising finance for development, there is a deeper connection of DFIs with private financial entities making finance more complex and difficult to trace. 

It is important as civil society, we respond and expose the Bank’s hidden agendas and lack of interest in inclusive and  sustainable development for marginalised communities. The Bank organising its Annual general Meetings(virtual) from the 12th to 18th of October, 2020.  

As a sign of protest to the Bank’s policies and interventions and impacts on economies Working Group on IFIs is organising a week of protest “World Without World Bank- Action Week- India” from 12th October to 16th October. 

Program (12th -16th October, 2020)

12th October, 2020-

  • World Bank Reform agenda (social media campaign)
  •  Agricultural Reforms (Social media campaign)

13th October, 2020- 

  • Health Sector, (Social media campaign)
  • COVID-19 Response (Social media campaign)
  • Webinar on “Covid-19 and IMF-World Bank: Did the Reform Agenda Get A Booster? –  Experiences Globally”  

14th October, 2020- 

  • Public Sector Banking Reforms – (Social media campaign)

15th October, 2020 – 

  •  Ease of Doing Business, (Social media campaign)
  • labour sector Reforms (Social media campaign)
  • Webinar on “World Bank’s role in creating Smart Cities  and it’s Socio political Impacts in Developing Countries- Voices from the South”

16th October, 2020- 

  • Energy Sector Reforms (Social media campaign)

More details will follow.