Oxfam reaction: IMF and World Bank opening remarks

11th Oct 2012

Responding to the IMF and World Bank opening remarks in Tokyo, Oxfam spokesperson Elizabeth Stuart said:


IMF - Christine Lagarde

Courageous and cooperative action:  

"It's imperative that the poorest countries are not overlooked at this meeting. Europe's crisis needs to be fixed because the fallout is seriously threatening developing countries. Oxfam's research shows a Eurozone breakup could cost the world's poorest countries $30 billion in lost trade and foreign investment. The IMF must work with poor countries to keep their fragile growth going, and to boost counter-cyclical spending essential for social stability and growth."

Financial sector reform:  "Europe is on the brink of agreeing a financial transactions tax that could raise billions to help poor people hit by the economic crisis. The IMF must back a tax on financial transactions to raise revenues for poverty reduction."

Governance reform: "The United States urgently needs to authorize IMF governance reform. This process has been dragging on for far too long, and emerging economies need their rightful place at the table."


World Bank - Jim Yong Kim

"We welcomed Jim Kim's arrival at the World Bank, but at some point the welcome party has to end. We need to see how he's going to change the way the Bank works. There are serious threats to the Bank's future - not least that BRICs are in the process of setting up their own bank. We're going to need to see real details of Kim's reforms sooner rather than later.

Food prices: "Food volatility is out of control, and is a serious threat to the livelihoods of billions across the globe. It's a scandal that almost 870 million people - more than the population of the US, Europe and Canada - are hungry in a world which produces enough for everyone to eat.

"The World Bank must help protect poor people's livelihoods and their access to the resources they need to grow food. Oxfam is calling on the World Bank to temporarily freeze its agricultural investments in land while it reviews its policies to prevent land-grabs."

Climate change: "Too many leaders shy away from stating categorically that climate change is a real problem. Kim's emphatic denial of the deniers is very welcome."

For information contact Caroline Hooper-Box
caroline.hooper-box@oxfaminternational.org US number: +1 202 321 2967  
Tokyo number: 080-6849-1653