Oxfam urges 'Marshall' aid for Africa: IMF policies 'suck continent dry'

International Monetary Fund policies in Africa are not working and the fund should rethink them or get out of the continent, the Oxfam director, David Bryer, said yesterday.

'There cannot be a role for the IMF if it is going to go on sucking Africa dry, as it is at the moment,' Mr Bryer said, pointing out that the fund had drained Africa of more than dollars 3bn ( pounds 1.9bn) since 1983.

He was launching an Oxfam report, Africa Make or Break, which calls for a 'Marshall Plan' to support recovery in Africa. The charity argues that a window of opportunity is opening in Eritrea, on the brink of independence after 30 years of war, and in Mozambique, where the United Nations is charged with monitoring a peace process to end a 15-year civil war. But there is a grave danger, Mr Bryer said, that international lack of concern will shut that window.

Ordinary people throughout sub-Saharan Africa continue to work to improve their living conditions but they are being 'constantly clobbered', he said, at the level of their own governments and at international level.

Those countries which have, under Western pressure since the end of the Cold War, liberalised their economies, are now the victims of IMF and World Bank structural adjustment programmes whose only fruits to date are very bitter indeed. The yardstick for judging the programmes must be their success or failure in restoring economic growth and alleviating poverty, Oxfam said, and 'the overwhelming weight of evidence suggests they have not performed well in either area'.

Investment levels have dropped in countries implementing the programmes, health, education and training services have been eroded and development of the infrastructure has been neglected.

Oxfam insists that 'market- based' solutions are not a panacea for eradicating poverty, especially when the poor are denied access to markets through lack of productive resources. It advocates a strategy putting emphasis on credit for marginal producers, 'targeted and temporary' protection against imports, promotion of regional trade, and improved public services.

More broadly, the charity calls for a reduction of Africa's crippling debt burden, increased aid, measures to improve Africa's trading prospects, and a stronger role for the UN.

Mr Bryer referred to the vast resources currently being made available to Russia as proof that the West can act if the will is there. But the comparison may tend to break as well as make his case. Aid to Russia is forthcoming for reasons of self-interest, but a Western interest in African prosperity appears to be harder for governments to discover.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Voices
Don’t try this at home: DIY has now fallen out of favour
voicesNick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of it
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Sport
Phil Jones (left) attempts to stop the progress of West Bromwich Albion’s James Morrison on Monday
I'm not worried about United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Arts and Entertainment
Saw point: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’
filmReview: Serena is a strangely dour and downbeat affair
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Datacentre Consultant (Infrastructure Consultant, HyperV) £45k

£45000 per annum: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Datacentre Consultant (Datacentre,...

English Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Randstad Education Cardiff is...

.NET Developer (C#, .NET, Support) - Coventry - £45k

£45000 per annum + Excellent Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: .NET Develope...

C# / ASP.NET Developer

£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: C...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker