Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Born Obsolescent But Still Around, Unfortunately

Apparently a report has found that the IMFs (International Monetary Fund) fiscal and monetary policies have stifled Kenya's fight against HIV and TB. They concluded that restricting government spending on health resulted in poor health outcomes.

That's not just a conclusion, that's almost a tautology. Poor healthcare always, everywhere, gives rise to poor health outcomes. I applaud the report writers but I wonder what influence their findings and recommendations will have in the secretive and atavistic 'Bretton Woods' institutions. The report even found that HIV/Aids work is now almost totally dependent on donor funding.

Virtually anyone who has studied HIV, its spread and the almost total (but extremely expensive) failure to reduce its spread, would have, and probably have, come to the same conclusions. But what effect has research ever had on the way the IMF does its work?

The report also concludes that the IMF's policies are partly to blame for Kenya's poor economic performance. But this is true of the economic performance of every country that the IMF has interfered in. In the whole history of the IMF, they do not have one single success story. They beat on about reform, democracy and accountability. Yet they have never been reformed, they are not in the least bit democratic and they are not accountable to anyone.

It's odd that both the World Bank and the IMF can produce reports that, at the same time, boast of the great things that they have done and also admit the failures that, essentially, are the great things they have done. Anyhow, the full report is available, but keep a sick bag handy.


No comments: