The World Bank and IMF are two institutions that support the growing economy and financial order of the world. Most nations are members of these organizations. In order to become an active member of the World Bank, a nation must be apart of the IMF.
The World Bank is made up of two main bodies, the international bank for reconstruction and development and the international development association. The current focus of the World Bank is made up of six themes:
- Reaching out the poorest countries and promoting sustainable growth
- Africa is a main focus
- Providing assistance to countries that are post conflict
- Development solutions for middle-income countries
- Addressing global issues such as climate and infectious disease
- Creating opportunities for countries in the Middle East
- Understanding the global matters to further improvement
The International Monetary Fund consists of 188 countries. According to the IMF site, the organization is working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.
Additional roles of the IMF include:
- Promoting exchange stability
- Assisting in the establishment of a multilateral system of payments
- Giving confidence to members by making the organizations general resources temporarily available to them under adequate safeguards
The United States is a critical voice addressing the role and action of these institutions. In the past, the United States congress has blocked implementation of the 2010 IMF governance reform. The US has also insisted the World Bank is responsible for compensating communities that suffer human rights violations from Bank-funded projects.
Individual countries should deal with these goals one step at a time. Because the MDG’s are so broad, it would not be realistic for an individual country to attain reaching these alone. However, if each country could focus on the issue that is most prominent to them, progress can be made. If each nation is attempting to solve these problems, the MDG’s will be easier to accomplish. Even if these problems aren’t completely eradicated, the advancement of the plan will be providing some solutions, while still ensuring hope that we can reach peace eventually.
The Sub Saharan region in Africa is the poorest in the world. A country I am choosing to focus on is Ethiopia. It is one of the world’s oldest and poor countries. Ethiopia is making progress towards reaching the MDGs. According to the World Bank, economic growth brought with it positive trends in reducing poverty, in both urban and rural areas. Ethiopia has achieved the MDG for child mortality and is on track for achieving them in gender parity in education, HIV/AIDs and malaria. Progress is being made in universal primary education, but the MDG target has not been met yet. There has been significant progress in the key human development indicators.
Social spending is funds that the government has set aside for the poor and needy. These programs may be permanent or temporary. It is so important because providing these funds may not necessarily be helping the poor in the long run. If the poor become too dependent on these funds, they have no incentive to make progress and could possibly be taking advantage of the program. However, how can anyone expect to provide sustainable growth without initial help from outside sources like the World Bank and IMF.
Oxfam raises legitimate concerns about reaching the MDGs. The main points of the criticism include the funding for the MDGs. Oxfam is stating that we do not need to worry about coming up with more money in order to solve these global issues, but we need to figure out why the money we currently have set aside for the goals isn’t enough. A main concern for completing these goals is obviously time. As we are coming up on the deadline for the goals, Oxfam realizes the rate of progress has been slow. The goals need more attention now, and should be put on the top list of priorities in order to make our world a better place.