Christian Aid on
Friday 15 September announced that it is boycotting all official events at the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Singapore in
protest at the government’s ban on civil society representatives entering the
country. The boycott has been endorsed by 163 organisations from across the
Christian Aid partner Focus
on the Global South is among the 28 participants on the Singaporean government’s
The crackdown continues as
others are being detained and deported on arrival. Christian Aid partner Iara
Pietricovsky from INESC Brazil was detained and questioned at the airport. She
was eventually allowed in.
Activists who were able to
gain entry to Singapore gathered at the tiny, cordoned off protest area at the
back of the convention centre. They stood silently; ‘no voice’ was printed on
surgical masks they were wearing.
Bishop Akolgo of Christian
Aid’s Ghanaian partner, ISODEC was a spokesperson at the protest. He said that
organisations from the developing countries had to participate in these
meetings, as it was vital that the IMF and the World Bank reform.
‘The IMF and the World Bank
have huge power over poor countries, through the conditions they attach to their
aid. These conditions take decisions away from sovereign governments and often
push policies which hurt rather than help the poor,’ said Mr Akolgo.
Christian Aid and many of
its partners will be attending the International People’s Forum against the
World Bank and IMF, which opens Friday in Batam in neighbouring Indonesia.
Boycotter's blog Justin Macmullan,
Christian Aid campaigns policy officer, is in Singapore reporting on the IMF and
World Bank meetings and the recent crackdown on civil society groups trying to
attend them. >>Find more on our pressureworks