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Public statement


The World Bank and IMF must 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.

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Abibiman Foundation, Ghana

Kenneth Nana Amoateng, Executive Director

ActionAid Arab Regional Initiative

Caroline McCausland, Regional Director

ActionAid International

Adriano Campolina, Secretary General

ActionAid Zambia

Nalucha Nganga Ziba, Country Director

Activista, Tanzania

Hatibu Kilenga, Chair

Activista, The Gambia

Saibo Suso, Coordinator

Africans Rising

Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan, Co-ordinator

Afrika Youth Movement

Aya Chebbi, Chair

Ageing Nepal

Krishna M. Gautam, Founder & Chairperson

AKSI, Indonesia

Titi Soentoro, Policy Advisor

All Nepal Peasants’ Federation

Dr 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 Kong

May Wong, Executive Director

Asian People’s Movement on Debt &

Lidy Nacpil, Co-ordinator


Claudine Gaidoni

Bangladesh Jatiyo Sramik Jote

Mesbahuddin Ahmed, General Secretary

Bangladesh Krishok Federation

Badrul Alam, President

Black Sox, UK

Lee Jasper, Chair

Blood Bricks Campaign, India

Chandan Kumar, Coordinator

Bretton Woods Project, UK

Luiz 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


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


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 and
Cultural 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

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