EIPR participates in IMF-WB annual meetings and parallel events in Marrakech

Press Release

12 October 2023

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) is participating this week in the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), which began in Marrakech, Morocco, on 9 October and will continue until 15 October. It is also participating in the global counter-summit of social movements, which is held in parallel of the IMF-WB meetings and organized by civil society organizations from around the world and from the region. The counter-summit presents visions and policies alternative to the IMF-WB policies that cause further impoverishment to the peoples of the South and led the world into recession, inflation, debts, and deteriorating living standards.

EIPR is represented in Marrakech meetings by Maye Kabil, senior researcher at the Economic and Social Justice Unit, and Dr. Ayman Sabae, senior researcher on the right to health. They coordinate several events in collaboration with partners, including the International Network for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), the Transnational Institute (TNI), and others. These events include a seminar entitled "Challenging IMF's Neoliberal Lending Policies", which will be held on the morning of 13 October. The seminar will address the role of IMF policies in deepening the debt crisis and will seek to explore alternative economic policies and paradigms that center on human rights and the planet. Another seminar will be held on the same day under the title "Corporate Capture and the Role of Corporations in Debt and Climate Crises in the Global South".

On 14 October, EIPIR, in cooperation with the TNI and the Tunisian Water Observatory, will organize a seminar entitled "The Effects of International Financial Institutions' Policies on North African Countries (Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco)". The seminar will be moderated by Maye Kabil, while researcher Osama Diab will present the paper issued by EIPR in partnership with TNI last September entitled "The IMF and Ending Energy Subsidies in Egypt; A Tale of Class War and Greenwashing".

EIPR, in partnership with ESCR-Net, is also contributing to the Global Week of Action for Debt, Climate, and Economic Justice this week. On 10 October, EIPR participated in a webinar entitled "Care and Debt: Liberation from Debt Bonds, Building an Economy that Cares for People and the Planet, and Women Solutions from the South". The Global Week of Action includes the launch of a comic story entitled "The Power of the 99% to Stop Corporate Hegemony and Debts" as a tool to stimulate discussion, and dialogue, and deepen the understanding of the root causes of debts and their colonial legacies, the role of corporate hegemony in amplifying the debt crisis, and the intersections of the crisis with various issues such as climate and care.

Director of the EIPR’s Social and Economic Justice Unit Wael Gamal intervned in a webinar organized by the Arab Reform Initiative on 9 October entitled "International Financial Institutions, Climate Finance and Social Spending: The Missed Opportunity". He addressed the complex roles of international financial institutions in the region and their developments, as well as the complex relationship between social justice and climate justice.

The current summit is particularly important in light of the intensifying pressures facing the global economy. It is the first time that finance ministers and central bank governors from 190 countries have met in Africa since the Nairobi summit in Kenya in 1973.

As the WB and the IMF seek reorganization to deal with climate change, many member states are trying to deal with high debt levels due to COVID-19 and the Ukraine war, especially as the previous IMF-WB meetings, held in April 2023, confirmed that about 15% of low-income countries were already experiencing a debt crisis, and another 45% were close to that.