Bosco: World Bank's Democracy Stance Still 'Hard to Tell'

Is the World Bank’s decision to stop providing aid to the Ivory Coast following the country’s political crisis an acknowledgement that democracy could be a precondition for economic assistance under certain conditions? It is hard to tell, given the bank’s history of lending billions to various nondemocratic governments, David Bosco of Foreign Policy notes.

“If there’s a principle somewhere here, it may be this: that the Bank will happily lend to nondemocracies but may cut off countries (particularly small ones) that have obviously and unapologetically flouted the popular will,” Bosco writes in FP’s  “The Mulilateralist” blog.

The World Bank announced its decision to suspend aid to the African country Dec. 22.

>>World Bank Freezes Aid to Cote d’Ivoire

Bosco notes that the multilateral organization has been vague on democracy, opening it to various criticisms over the years.

“Whether the Cote d’Ivoire case means anything is hard to tell,” he says.

Bosco adds that when asked what about the implications of its decision on Ivory Coast funding, the World Bank said it had nothing to say beyond its published statement.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.