The World Bank was first established during World War II at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The emphasis in the early stages of the World Banks development was during the time of post war rebuilding. The first loan provided by the World Bank was to France in 1947 for $250 million to help it recover from the devastation's of war. The World Bank (03) states that despite lending to countries, post conflict or in other similar humanitarian emergencies, it has evolved into a lending institution whose main agenda involves bringing relief to third world poverty.
[...] She contends that much of what has been done in the name of development has served to reinforce the intellectual, material and financial dependence of those on the receiving end. Some argue that the very concept of development is essentially a vehicle in which cultural values and social norms as well as resources are exported from one part of the world to another, along a one-way route from rich to poor. Aid becomes a means by which unequal relationships of power are maintained and patronage is fostered. It is not through just the decision point documents that the poorest and most indebted countries' economic policies are influenced. [...]
[...] The next stage of HIPC requires countries to produce a 'Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper' (PRSP) and the receipt of World Bank loans under its 'Poverty Reduction Support Credit' (PRSC) scheme. The rhetoric surrounding these schemes is one of ‘participation' for the developing countries however in reality these proposals are all strictly governed by the World Bank and it is only the pace at which the reforms are put into place which can be negotiated rather than the reforms themselves. Here again the disproportionate measures of power over economic policy is displayed. [...]
[...] This essay has shown that despite the intentions of the World Bank to alleviate debt, developing nations are not benefiting from the uneven relationship they share with the World Bank. The overall affects that the policies imposed on developing nations have are not helping stabilize poorer nation's economies; instead the free trade and privatization programs are of benefit to small numbers of the population of the countries involved and outside investors. The HIPC initiative to try to halve third world debt by 2015, has in a few cases begun but on the whole is not being achieved. [...]
[...] Between July 1998 and June 2001, coffee export prices declined by almost 50 percent." The irony here of course is that the very policy that developing nations were expected to adhere to in order to qualify for the HIPC initiative was the cause of the coffee producers losing valuable income as coffee prices drop which renders the debt relief they eventually receive less valuable. It is clear that in recent times there has been support for strong reform of the World Bank. [...]
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