Among the many factors at play in the growth of the Pakistani “neo-Taliban” is the story of poverty and a failed government response to basic human needs. With the global recession underway, things have only gotten only worse for those near the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder in Pakistan and elsewhere.
As the World Bank puts it:
“Estimates of the additional number of people trapped in extreme poverty in 2009 as a result of the financial crisis range from 50 to 90 million.”
With that in mind, it can be easy to view this weekend’s IMF/World Bank meetings as good news: lots of talk of providing money to Pakistan and other developing nations to help during the recession.
Unfortunately, the IMF is talking about providing loans.
That means more long-term debt for the very nations that can least afford to pay it off. To make things worse, many of these loans are likely to come with the kinds of conditions that will further limit social welfare spending.