News / Economy

IMF, World Bank Ponder Reforms, Economic Problems

FILE - International Monetary Fund headquarters building in Washington.
FILE - International Monetary Fund headquarters building in Washington.
VOA News
An economic expert says the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund must do more to meet the needs of fast-growing emerging economies that represent much of the world's population and a growing proportion of the economy.

Critics of the IMF and the World Bank say the international financial institutions are dominated by the United States and Europe and do too little to fund projects in developing nations.  Top economic officials from around the world are set to gather in Washington in mid-April for talks on reforming the global lenders and other issues.

Professor Bessma Momani, of the Center for International Governance Innovation, says efforts to give more voting power to emerging nations in the IMF and the World Bank have been under discussion for several years, but are not yet complete.

"Ultimately, if we are going to have legitimacy of these organizations, if we are going to have future funding, contribution and buy-in by the wealthiest countries, which will continue to be emerging market economies, we need to see this kind of reform take place," said Momani.

IMF officials say they have made "good progress" in governance reforms and are watching efforts by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa to establish their own development bank "with great interest."  

Momani says giving BRICS nations and other emerging economies more say in international finance could bring the institutions larger contributions from members with fast-growing economies.  

"Much of the emerging market economies would like to contribute more finances to the fund and they have the capital surplus in their coffers, 1046 they are willing, but at the same time they say they are not willing to contribute to an IMF that does not give us more power," she said.

The World Bank is a lender focused on reducing poverty around the world, and the IMF is an organization of 188 member nations working to foster trade, stability, economic growth and employment around the world.

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