Over 100 organizations sign open letter calling for meaningful solutions on inequality

Public Statement - The World Bank and IMF must stop fuelling inequality

IMF and World Bank stop fuelling inequality

We are a group of 133 civil society organisations from many different backgrounds and countries, representing millions of people. Together we are demanding the IMF and World Bank stop fuelling the global inequality crisis. We work for changes that are fundamental to achieving the just, equal and sustainable world we all desire. We are united in believing that all of our struggles are both worsened by, and are the product of, the global inequality crisis. We are coming together to fight inequality, which is fuelling injustices in land, health, education, taxation, worker’s rights, women’s rights, climate change and human rights. We are united in believing that the World Bank and IMF are too often fuelling inequality. We call on the World Bank and IMF to ensure that all operations and activities they finance contribute to reducing inequality.

The majority of people live in a country where the gap between rich and poor has grown, often rapidly and to very high levels. Inequality threatens our democracies, it corrodes our politics, and it undermines our economies. It has led to an incredible concentration of wealth, while hundreds of millions go hungry. Without action to rapidly reduce inequality we will never be able to achieve the just, equal and sustainable world we need.

Inequality is not just about income or wealth, it is about power. Runaway inequality has put too much power into the hands of the richest, and into the hands of powerful corporations. This growing divide between rich and poor has deep roots - inextricably linked with patriarchy, and exploiting and contributing to other entrenched inequalities of race, sexual identity, caste and indigenous group.

The IMF and the World Bank have recently recognised the inequality crisis, but for 40 years they have been among those responsible for creating and maintaining it. This has to change.

Concern about inequality and “shared prosperity” have now become a talking point at the institutions, but real action has lagged. Steps must be taken to truly reduce inequality, not just achieve slightly better incomes for the poor while the top 1% continue to consolidate their power and wealth at an alarming pace.

To transform the World Bank and IMF, at least two things are required. First we need a complete revolution in their governance. They remain dominated by rich nations. Africa has actually seen its voting share decline despite reforms claiming to create greater balance between rich and poor countries. Civil society must also be included more systematically and meaningfully in decision-making to ensure programs are accountable and reflect the needs of the poor and vulnerable.

Second we need to see a public break with the broken economic model of neoliberalism, and a recognition that it is has failed. The IMF has conceded that neoliberalism has driven growing inequality. Now there needs to be a fundamental and irrevocable break with this failed economic model. The first step towards this break would be ensuring any lending by the IMF or World Bank that requires policy changes must be subject to gender and economic inequality impact assessments both before implementation and after.

Breaking with this failed economic model will mean an immediate end to IMF and World Bank policies and programs that drive inequality. Promotion of damaging austerity policies must stop. Workers rights and collective bargaining systems must be respected not eroded. Promotion of private education and health care must end, and free universal public services supported. End the undermining of women’s rights and the promotion of patriarchy. End support for land grabbing and large-scale infrastructure that harms the poorest communities and the environment. End support for fossil fuels that are destroying our planet. End the insistence on risky and discredited public private partnerships. Stop supporting tax breaks and tax dodging and support and an end to tax havens and promote progressive taxation where corporations and the ultra-rich pay their fair share. This will mobilize resources for universal social protection and public investments for a just transition to an environmentally and economically sustainable economy. A pay raise for working people and productive public investments would foster economic growth and reduce inequality, and support women’s rights. Every single program of the World Bank or the IMF must demonstrate in advance how it will reduce inequality.

We believe it is possible to have a society where everyone matters. Where nobody is rich or powerful enough to be immune from the rules. Powerful elites and corporations can no longer be allowed to rig the system in their favour. To achieve this we will loudly challenge the concentration of power in the hands of an elite few, and to demand people-driven solutions from the World Bank and IMF that will really #fightinequality.

Signatories

OrganisationName
Abibiman Foundation, Ghana            Kenneth Nana Amoateng, Executive Director
ActionAid Arab Regional InitiativeCaroline McCausland, Regional Director
ActionAid InternationalAdriano Campolina, Secretary General
ActionAid ZambiaNalucha Nganga Ziba, Country Director
Activista, TanzaniaHatibu Kilenga, Chair
Activista, The GambiaSaibo Suso, Coordinator
Africans RisingMuhammed Lamin Saidykhan, Co-ordinator
Afrika Youth MovementAya Chebbi, Chair
Ageine NepalKrishna M. Gautam, Founder & Chairperson
AKSI, IndonesiaTiti Soentoro, Policy Advisor
All Nepal Peasants’ FederationDr Keshab Khadka, Research Dept Head
Alliance contre la Pauvreté au Mali, Mali       Barry Aminata Toure , Coordinatrice
APIT Portugal (Tax and Customs Inspectors Trade Union)Nuno Barroso, President
Asia Monitor Resource Centre, Hong KongMay Wong, Executive Director
Asian People’s Movement on Debt & DevelopmentLidy Nacpil, Co-ordinator
Attac-IrelandClaudine Gaidoni
Bangladesh Jatiyo Sramik JoteMesbahuddin Ahmed, General Secretary
Bangladesh Krishok FederationBadrul Alam, President
Black Sox, UKLee Jasper, Chair
Blood Bricks Campaign, IndiaChandan Kumar, Coordinator
Bretton Woods Project, UKLuiz Vieira, Co-ordinator
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
(Solidarity of Filipino Workers), Philippines                                    
Mike Garay, Secretary-General                         
CAAPOST-2015 and GCAP-Sénégal Oumar Sow, National Co-ordinator
Cambodian Grassroots Cross-sector Network (CGCN),
Cambodia
Mr Socheat Heng, Technical Advisor
Campaign For A Just Energy Future, South Africa Pooven Moodley, Convenor
Campaign for Climate Justice Nepal (CCJN) Dr. Sarba Khadka, Coordinator
Campaign for Good Governance-SUPRO!, Bangladesh MA Quader, Director
Centre for Economic and Social Rights, USA Ignacio Saiz, Executive Director
Centre for Financial Accountability, India Joe Athialy, Executive Director
Centre for Natural Resource Governance, Zimbabwe Farai Maguwu, Founding Director
Centre of Concern, USA Lester A. Myers, President
Civic Initiative for Environment and
Sustainable Development, Burundi
Appolinaire Nishirimbere, Executive Secretary
Civicus Danny Sriskandarajah, Secretary General
Coastal Asso. for Social Transformation
(COAST Trust), Bangladesh
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Executive Director
Community Self Reliance Centre, Nepal Jagat Deuja, Executive Director
Daughters of Mumbi Global Resource Centre,
Kenya
Njoki Njehu, Executive Director
debtWATCH, Indonesia Arimbi Heroepoetri, Director
DIGNIDAD Coalition, Philippines-Bangladesh Ana Maria Nemenzo, Convener
Divine House Christian Center, South Africa Sipho Mazibuko, Director
Divine House Community Centre, South Africa Christina Polo Moheta, Director
Economic and Social Rights Centre (Hakijamii),
Kenya
Geoffrey Kerosi, Programme Officer
Education International Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary
Ekklesia, UK Simon Barrow, Director
Environics Trust, India Sreedhar Ramamurthi
Equity and Justice Working Group (Equitybd),
 Bangladesh
Aminul Haque, Coordinator-Secretariat
Eurodad, Brussels Jesse Griffiths, Director
Farmers for Farmer Network (FFF), Cambodia Mr Chea Sopherk, Co-ordinator
FEMNET Dinah Musindarwezo, Executive Director
Foundation Earth, USA Randy Hayes, Executive Director
Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippines Sammy Gamboa, Secretary-General
Friends, Families and Travellers, UK Zoe Matthews, Co-Director
Gender Action, USA Elaine Zuckerman, President
Gender and Development Network, UK Jessica Woodroffe, Director
Global Alliance for Tax Justice Teresa Marshall, Co-ordinator
Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) Beckie Malay, Global Co-Chair
Global Initiative for Economic, Social andCultural Rights Bret Thiele, Co-Director
Global Justice Now, UK Nick Dearden, Director
Global Platform Nairobi, Kenya Collins Odhiambo, Coordinator
Greenpeace International Bunny McDiarmid, Executive Director
Health Poverty Action, UK Martin Drewry, Director
Himalaya Niti Abhiyan (HNA), India Sandeep Minhas, Secretary
Human Rights Alliance, Nepal Padma Prasad Khatiwada, General Secretary
Independent Farmer Association for
Community Development, Cambodia
Mr Prach Bunthoeun, Co-ordinator
Indian Social Action Forum Willy D’Costa, Convenor
Indus Consortium, Pakistan Hussain Jarwar, National Coordinator
INISIATIF, Indonesia Sapei Rusin, Chairperson
INKRISPENA – Indonesia Y Wasi Gede Puraka, Executive Director
INSEC (Informal Sector Service Center), Nepal Subodh Raj Pyakurel, Chairperson
Institute of Global Responsibility, Poland Marcin Wojtalik, Board member
Institute of Socioeconomic Studies, Brazil Grazielle David, Policy Advisor
International NGO Forum On Indonesian Development,
Indonesia
Sugeng Bahagijo, Executive Director
International Trade Union Confederation Sharan Burrow, General Secretary
Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society
(JACSES), Japan
Yuki Tanabe, Director
Jubilee Debt Campaign, UK Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Director
Jubilee Scotland Kirsty Haigh, Campaign Director
Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay
(KAMP),Philippines
Ana Maria Nemenzo, Convener
Kirchlicher Dienst in der Arbeitswelt Bremen
(Urban Industrial Mission Bremen), Germany
Ingeborg Mehser, Manager
Kopano Hospice, South Africa Gert Kagisang Motlhaolwa, Managing Director
KPRI (Confederation of Indonesia People Movement),
Indonesia
Anwar Maruf, General Secretary
KRUHA (People’s Right to Water Coalition),
Indonesia
Muhammad Reza, Coordinator
KSN (National Confederation Union), Indonesia Hermawan S, President
LDC Watch Gauri Pradhan, International Coordinator
Letsopa Advice Centre, South Africa Ben Kolojane, Director
Medact, UK David McCoy, Director
Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), Regional Tatcee Macabuag, Program Coordinator
Mining Affected Communities United in Action
(MACUA), South Africa
Meshack Mbangula, Coordinator
Missing Children, South Africa Sekai Chagwiza, Head of Secretariat
National Alliance for Tax and Fiscal Justice Network,
Nepal
Dr Keshab Khadka, Chairperson
National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers
(NAWRA), UK
Alan Markey, Chair
National Confederation of Dalit and Adivasi Organisations
(NACDAOR), India
Ashok Bharti, Chair
National Economic and Environmental
Development Organization, Pakistan
Waseem Sheikh, General Secretary
National Hawkers Federation, India Saktiman Gosh, Secretary- General
National Network on Right to Food (RtFN), Nepal Dr Keshab Khadka, APNFa Representative
Network for Transformative Social Protection - Asia Maris dela Cruz, Facilitator
New Economics Foundation, UK Annie Quick, Lead for Inequality and Wellbeing
NGO Forum on ADB Rayyan Hassan, Executive Director
Niger Delta Women's Movement for Peace and Development Caroline Usikpedo, Founder/National President
Octopizzo Foundation, Kenya Octopizzo, Founder
Omaatla ECD, South Africa Gomolemo Moheta, Director
Oxfam International Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director
Pakistan Development Alliance Zia Ur Rehman, Founder & Chief Executive
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum Saeed Baloch, Secretary-General
Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee Farooq Tariq, General Secretary
PLUS, Coalition Internationale Sida Khalil Elouardighi, Directeur du Plaidoyer
Positive Money, UK Fran Boait, Executive Director
Povod, Slovenia Robert Križanič, Director
Radha Paudel Foundation, Nepal Radha Paudel, Founder
Right to Education Forum, India Ambarish Rai, National Convenor
Roots, Zambia Maiko Zulu, Founder
ROSEN: Reseau des Organisations du Secteur
Educatif du NIGER
Abdou Mamane Lokoko, Co-ordinator
Sanlakas, Philippines Manjette Manalo, National President
SKOP 
The National Platform of Maltese Development NGOs
Roderick Agius, Secretary General
Social Watch Roberto Bissio, Co-ordinator
Society for International Development, Kenya Ali Hersi, Director
Society for Women’s Rights and Development, Pakistan Fiza Naz, Executive Director
Solidaritas Perempuan, Indonesia Aliza Yuliana, Program Coordinator
Stamp Out Poverty, UK David Hillman, Director
Swazi Community Trust, Swaziland Hlongwa Taeya Stephen
Tax Justice Network Alex Cobham, Chief Executive
Taxpayers Against Poverty, UK Reverend Paul Nicolson, Founder
The African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal Demba Moussa Dembele, Director
The Disabled Migrants Rights Networking Organization,
South Africa
Brian Muziringa, Co-ordinator
The Equality Trust, UK Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director
The Good Samaritan Project, South Africa Ronald Chikwenhere, Project Co-ordinator
Trades Union Congress, UK Frances O’Grady, General Secretary
Unaccompanied Refugee Minors, South Africa Thandiwe Hove, National Co-ordinator
Village Development Organization, Pakistan Ali Hassan Mahar, Executive Director
Wada Na To do Abhiyan -
People's Action For Rural Awakening, India
Thomas Pallithanam, Director
War on Want, UK Asad Rehman, Executive Director
WEED - World Economy, Ecology & Development Assoc,
Germany
Peter Wahl, Executive Committee
WomanHealth, Philippines Ana Maria Nemenzo, Coordinator
Zambia Council for Social Development Lewis Mwape, Executive Director
Zimbabwe Diaspora Network, South Africa Samson Chikeya, Director