World Bank and IMF conditionality: a development injustice

This report examines the conditions that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund attach to their development lending in some of the world’s poorest countries.

It is based on new research undertaken by Eurodad examining World Bank and IMF lending in twenty impoverished countries.

The report reveals that impoverished countries still face an unacceptably high and rising number of conditions in order to gain access to World Bank and IMF development finance. On average poor countries face as many as 67 conditions per World Bank loan. However, some of the countries faced a far higher number of conditions.

In addition to imposing a massive administrative burden on already over-stretched developing governments, the proliferation of IMF and World Bank conditions often push highly controversial economic policy reforms on poor countries, like trade liberalisation and privatisation of essential services. These reforms frequently contravene developing countries’ wishes, an acknowledged prerequisite for successful development.