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The World Bank Group (WBG) continues to be the lead Multilateral Development Bank defining development and reshaping policies and economies to fit the neo liberal agenda. COVID-19 has provided the Bank a window to reinvent its relevance through support to countries in fighting the pandemic. This support is coming through development policy loans which are silently pushing for policy reforms. The Bank’s now tainted and halted for fudging of data,  Ease of Doing Business report has played a devastating role in watering down environmental and labour laws in India. The Bank’s World development Report for 2021, which sets forth the interest and direction of its investments, points towards commodification of data.

The World Bank continues to grow its influence in India through state partnerships impacting local governance structures. They continue to venture into new and what seem to be more lucrative territories promoting privatisation and commodification of data, coastal regions, large renewables, large infrastructure, agriculture, health with little regard to impacts on communities, their rights over resources and to human rights. With the approach of maximising finance for development, there is a deeper connection of DFIs with private financial entities making finance more complex and difficult to trace.

It is important as civil society, we respond and expose the Bank’s hidden agendas and lack of focus on inclusive and  sustainable support for the countries and people battling marginalisation. The Bank is having its Annual general Meetings(virtual) from the 12th to 18th of October, 2020.

As a sign of protest to the Bank’s policies and interventions and impacts on economies Working Group on IFIs is organising a week of protest “World Bank Action Week” from 12th October to 16th October.

Anuradha Munshi
Research Co-ordinator
Centre for Financial Accountability

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