The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund portray themselves as the stabilizers of the international market and the distributor of aid. But their policies still carry the stamp of the Washington Consensus. The neoliberal agenda often holds the biggest benefits for the givers of money, not the recipients.
The World Bank wants to fight poverty. Yet its organizational structure prevents sustainable policy. Rough times lie ahead for social development, human rights, conservation and climate protection.
World Bank and IMF have reacted quickly to the financial crisis. But poverty reduction must not be a phenomenon of troubled times. The development has to continue as the economy recovers.
IMF and World Bank have turned from aid-givers into mediators between rich and poor countries, from providers of progress into foreign policy activists and financiers of debt. Despite the economic upsets of the past two years, change is illusionary.