• Bruce Rich
  • Environmental Forum
  • Sept.-Oct. 2005
  • pp. 28-35

Corrupt businesses, politicians, and cronies are stealing hundreds of billions of dollars from the globe’s poorest people. The World Bank and other multilateral development lending institutions too often ignore this corruption and capital flight, despite numerous reform efforts. Donor nations’ hopes for sustainable development may be in jeopardy....According to Senate testimony between 2004--2006, 20-30 percent of World Bank loans go to corrupt officials--$110 billion since it was founded....The money is stolen by host country officials. Bank officers nonetheless keep the money flowing because of a "culture of loan approval."...Because of "dirty money," the accounting that development policy loans has been based on has been, in a global sense, rigged....Calculating the real financial flows between rich and poor countries would be a strong spur for the rich to assume their responsibility.  Though the World Bank strengthened somewhat its anti-corruption efforts after the Senate hearings, in more recent years it has promoted large non-project loans where the ultimate destination of funds lent is more difficult to trace.

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