Protecting the Poor: Global Financial Institutions and the Vulnerability of Low- Income Countries

A book that spells out how the international community can more effectively address the vulnerabilities of low-income countries and why fundamental reforms in the governance of the global financial system are needed.

Contributing authors include officials as well as critical observers. They discuss the crucial issues, provide in-depth analyses and suggest valuable policy proposals.

Low-income countries are highly vulnerable to exogenous shocks such as sudden drops in the prices of their exports, hurricanes, droughts, shortfalls in aid flows, and volatile private capital flows. Rich countries and global financial institutions recognise the need to avoid or mitigate the effects of these shocks to poor countries, but they only see a limited role for themselves. Poor countries, on the other hand, stress that the international community should do more.

Protecting the Poor: Global Financial Institutions and the Vulnerability of Low-Income Countries brings together in-depth analyses and valuable policy proposals of both officials and critical observers. It spells out what poor countries, rich countries and the international financial institutions can do to address the vulnerabilities of low-income countries.

Contributing authors advocate improvements in the governance of the international financial system which go beyond the short-term agenda of policymakers – such as the latest financial crisis or the newest debt relief proposal. “Fundamental” reforms are needed, they say. Contributors also review the role of the IMF in low-income countries. Some of them see the design of proper “exit strategies” as one of the main future challenges of the IMF, whereas others stress the need for the Fund to recast itself in the role of partner in development rather than macroeconomic master.


“Developing countries, and particularly low-income countries, are subject to important shocks emanating from exogenous variations in their balance of payments.” John Williamson,  Institute for International Economics

“Africa is already suffering from large shocks beyond its control ... making it impossible for the continent to reach the MDGs. ... There is no better use or higher priority for additional aid funds than immediate, low-cost contingency financing.” Hannah Bargawi and Matthew Martin, Debt Relief International

“The serious deficiencies in the governance of the international financial system point to the need for reform.” Geoffrey Underhill, Stijn Claessens, University of Amsterdam/World Bank

 “Rather than accepting the current rules of the game, developing countries will have to play the game by identifying their collective interests.” José Antonio Ocampo, Economic and Social Affairs, UN

“The IMF should adopt a genuinely multilateral attitude and recast itself in the role of partner rather than macroeconomic master.” Caoimhe de Barra, Trócaire

€ 15,- Order now

November 2005
ISBN-10: 90-74208-26-6
ISBN-13: 97890-74208-26-0

170 pages

Pdf Download Book as PDF
Pdf Download Flyer as PDF