Friday, 5 February 2010

IMF works toward cancelling debt in Haiti

From Johann Hari in today's Independent

... something new and startling happened this month. For the first time, the IMF was stopped from shafting a poor country Рby a rebellion here in the rich world. Hours after the quake, a Facebook group called "No Shock Doctrine For Haiti" had tens of thousands of members, and orchestrated a petition to the IMF of over 150,000 signatures demanding the loan become a no-strings grant. After Naomi Klein's mega-selling expos̩, there was a vigilant public who wanted to see that the money they were donating to charity was not going to be cancelled out by the IMF.

And it worked. The IMF backed down. It publicly renounced its conditions – and even said it would work to cancel Haiti's entire debt. This is the first sign that exposing and opposing the IMF's agenda works. Klein says it is "unprecedented in my experience, and shows that public pressure in moments of disaster can seriously subvert shock doctrine tactics." Of course, the IMF needs to be watched vigilantly. Already it seems to be rolling back some of its panicked initial rhetoric and saying that "beyond the emergency phase" it may go back to business as usual. Very powerful interests want the IMF to continue to dance to their tune.


Not specific to women - but see post by Djibril below:

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