Will IMF deliver G-20’s booster for world economy?

by Bobby Ramakant

Earlier this week the Group of Twentyleaders announced a USD 1.1 trillion booster-dose into the world economyby the end of 2010 through multilateral institutions like theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF). However, in July 2008, analysts from Cambridge and Yale Universities had reported that tuberculosis (TB) in countries with IMF loans rose sharply.

The strict conditions on IMF loans were blamed for thousands of extra TB deaths in Eastern Europe, and former Soviet republics. A UK TB charity backed the Public Library of Science (PLoS) study findings – but the IMF had firmly rejected them, as per a BBC news (July 2008).

David Stuckler from Cambridge University had said to BBC in July 2008 that “If we really want to create sustainable economic growth, we need first to ensure that we have taken care of people’s most basic health needs.”

Most alarming was when the levels of drug-resistant TB shot up in eastern Europe and former soviet union.

The BBC news further said that “in recent years, it [IMF] has offered assistance to 21 countries in the region, in the form of loans offered in exchange for the meeting of strict economic targets. The researchers claimed it was efforts to meet these targets that were undermining the fight against TB by drawing funding away from public health.”

Most striking was the analysis in BBC news that “without the IMF loans, they suggested, rates would have fallen by up to 10%, meaning at least 100,000 extra deaths. Countries which accepted IMF loans averaged an 8% fall in government spending, a 7% drop in the number of doctors per head of population, and a fall in a method of TB treatment called “directly observed therapy”, which is recommended by the World Health Organisation.”
Full Article 


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