Norway criticizes World Bank and IMF?s credit policies

Norway censured the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund?s tendency to link credits with liberal economic policy and privatization. “We are not saying that liberal economic policies and privatization are wrong,? Norway’s International Development Minister Erik Solheim said, “but it should be a choice of that country – through a democratic debate – not one made by international lenders or institutions.” Solheim urged lending institutions to focus instead on policies that impact on the environment and gender. Meanwhile, aid agency Oxfam agreed with Solheim?s observations and noted that economic policies pursued by the IMF and the World Bank often undermine national policy-making, delay aid flows and fail to deliver benefits to poor people. Oxfam cited that trade liberalization in Mali prescribed by the World Bank has been disastrous for the cotton farmers. However, James Adams, World Bank deputy head defended their policies as ?more flexible? and claimed that governments must take responsibility to make policies work. (Source: Norway presses international lenders on conditions/Reuters)

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