IMF conditionality: a joint letter by global civil society

Published on 
07/13/2018

Over 50 trade unions, churches, global civil society organisations, economists and academics, including the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and led by the Bretton Woods project, addressed an official campaign letter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding “the continued negative impacts of conditionality in its programmes”.

“From imposing austerity and wage suppression to regressive tax measures and food insecurity, the IMF has a long history of using loan conditions to create inequality and harm communities, so our letting calls on the IMF to use its conditionality review to replace its approach in favour of one that protects universal human rights and supports the Sustainable Development Goals”, the cosigners explain.

“We call on you, the signatories introduce, to use the Consultation on the 2018 Review of Conditionality and Design of IMF Supported Programs to re-evaluate the current approach. At the heart of our calls rests a need for the systematic integration of global civil society in the consultation process and to ensure that the voices of those impacted by IMF policy are listened to and involved in its design and implementation.

Restrictive fiscal and monetary policies prescribed in IMF loan conditionality squeeze the fiscal space needed for public investment and too often result in devastating consequences - particularly for marginalised groups - at high political costs. Last year, a UN expert warned that lending policies of the IMF actively undermine some human rights and development priorities, as well as promoting failed policies of privatisation and austerity. Moreover, in June 2018 the UN special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights claimed that the world is now "suffering the consequences of the past lopsided approach of IMF to globalization and its single-minded pursuit of a model of fiscal consolidation that relegated social impact to an afterthought."

You can read the full letter here.

You can also read Eurodad’s blog titled IMF conditionality: still undermining healthcare and social protection?, published in April.

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