Just a few updates of some relatively recent case studies which suggest the World Bank is not effectively promoting development in poor countries.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (2015) argues that the World Bank Projects leave trail of misery around the globe
The Ground Truth Project (an independent US media company) is documenting how World Bank financed commercial agricultural projects are resulting in the displacement of indigenous peoples in Tanzania, and Kenya, East Africa.
This 2015 Huffington Post Article – How the World Bank is financing Environmental Destruction – Outlines how a broader range of World Bank projects are leading to environmental decline.
This Oxfam article (2016) points to a complex way in which TNCs may benefit from World Bank loans – The World Bank lends money to poor countries who then pay TNCs to do development work for them, but the TNCs are registered in Tax Havens, which means the developing countries benefit less from taxing the profits of TNCs working in those countries.
A something of a counter argument to ‘the World Bank is evil’ line of evidence… This (2016) Guardian article argues that the proportion of the global population has fallen now below 10%, and so the World Bank has hanged its focus so that it now shifted its focus away from ‘Structural Adjustment programmes and more towards tackling global issues such as dealing with refugee crisees or combating disease outbreaks such as Ebola, rather than focusing on pushing through massive development projects in poor countries.
Further criticisms of the World Bank
- 2015 article outlining criticisms of the World Bank’s policies to increase mining in Haiti
- Article outlining how critics of World Bank financed initiatives are sometimes intimidated by ‘goons’.
- This is a useful history of the World Bank from Forbes Magazine – which argues that many of the lending policies of the 1960s and 70s were especially ineffective in promoting development.
- The last 40 years (since the 1980s) saw the World Bank force poor countries to adopt neoliberal policies of privatisation and low taxation in return for development aid and loans. A good case study of the sort of thing which happened in many countries is this Action Aid (2005) article which argues that the World Bank’s privatisation of the water supply in Tanzania focused mainly on richer areas, ignoring the needs of the poor.