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Oxfam Says IMF Loans Force Spending Cuts That Exacerbate Poverty

Oct. 12, 2020, 4:01 AM

The vast majority of International Monetary Fund loans extended during the Covid-19 pandemic have suggested or demanded spending cuts that would worsen poverty and inequality, charity group Oxfam says.

Seventy-six of the fund’s 91 loans since March have sought belt tightening, according to Oxfam. The result could be deep cuts to public healthcare and pensions; wage freezes and cuts for workers such as doctors and teachers; and reduced unemployment benefits like sick pay, the group said Monday.

“The IMF has sounded the alarm about a massive spike in inequality in the wake of the pandemic,” said Chema Vera, Oxfam International’s ...