“Countries will need to implement structural reforms to help shorten the time to recovery and create confidence that the recovery can be strong. For those countries that have excessive regulations, subsidies, licensing regimes, trade protection or litigiousness as obstacles, we will work with them to foster markets, choice and faster growth prospects during the recovery“ (Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass on G20 Finance Ministers Conference Call on COVID-19, 23.03.2020).
It is like the head of the World Bank didn’t learn anything from the past. His just saying he will re-issue old programs, which wasn’t effective. Unless, his earning his fortunes from the “Washington Consensus”. Because, instead of being able to make functional states, these states who are already in the dire need of loans and grants. Now, would need the IMF and WB if they got into a new period of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs). Instead of trying to rebuild and actually make them work. His instead dismantling the institutions they do have and lack of fiscal support to build more.
This is reckless and irresponsible. It is disrespectful and a disgrace. That the World Bank didn’t learn from its mistakes and the reason for the peril of plenty of states. Since they drank the kool-aid and followed the plans of the past. Since they needed the funds and grants to be able to function as it was. Nevertheless, we needs to bring back more ills and more weakening of states, because that is how you create growth. More privatization and more elitism. Since, that is the medicine to the poverty and lack of social security. This is what I read from the man.
This is the lesson he never got, maybe because it didn’t hit home:
“The past two decades of World Bank and IMF structural adjustment in Africa have led to greater social and economic deprivation, and an increased dependence of African countries on external loans. The failure of structural adjustment has been so dramatic that some critics of the World Bank and IMF argue that the policies imposed on African countries were never intended to promote development. On the contrary, they claim that their intention was to keep these countries economically weak and dependent. The most industrialized countries in the world have actually developed under conditions opposite to those imposed by the World Bank and IMF on African governments. The U.S. and the countries of Western Europe accorded a central role to the state in economic activity, and practiced strong protectionism, with subsidies for domestic industries. Under World Bank and IMF programs, African countries have been forced to cut back or abandon the very provisions which helped rich countries to grow and prosper in the past” (Ann-Louise Colgan, Hazardous to Health: The World Bank and IMF in Africa, Africa Action, April 18, 2002 ).
So, why does this man want to punish the countries after the pandemic? Why scale the institutions and the states to salvage funds from the World Bank? Instead of helping them to increase and ensure better state functions. He wants them to take another round of Structural Adjustment Programs. Which has caused so much ills in the first place. More austerity and less investment in the states.
It is like the beacon was never set and the idea of it takes money to make money. That your only getting more with less. While the states will live on austerity, the reality is that the donors, the aid organization and multi-national organizations will never leave. The circle continues and we never get to build. There will always lack the need and the usage of foreign projects will only be short-term temporary measures, but not systemic relief. Which should be the basis for what the World Bank want to do.
Unless, they want states to hooked and also in need of them. Because, the SAPs creates this and make them addicted too it. Instead of actually becoming independent and also self-sufficient, which should be the goal of any developing agency. That is if they were sincere and wanted states to develop. Not only patch the hurt and move-on. Instead of building it, brick by brick. Peace.