A report in the UK newspaper The Guardian, states that the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) is causing increased hardship and inequality amongst poorer countries. Loans are made to
countries under an average of 114 conditions. Countries are forced to remove trade barriers, sell national assets to foreign investors, slash social
spending and crush trade unions.
Tanzania was forced to charge for hospital visits and school fees. Hospital treatment fell by 53% and the illiteracy rate
In Ecuador, the IMF ordered 26,000 jobs cuts along with a halving of real wages for the
remaining workers. Meanwhile, it demanded the sale of the water system to foreign owners and an 80% increase in the price of cooking oil.
In Haiti, the import tariff on rice, the staple crop of the country's largely rural population, had to be cut from 50% to 3%,
opening the country to a flood of cheap USA imports. Farmers in Haiti had their livelihood destroyed by competition from subsidised