Although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims it is part of the solution, the IMF is really part of the problem of underdevelopment and it has been for decades. The latest proof is that the conditions imposed on countries in need have had serious impacts on the development of these countries’ public health services. In some countries, this means letting epidemics destroy the lives of thousands of people. The latest example involves the Ebola epidemic.
“World leaders are failing to address the worst ever Ebola epidemic, and states with biological-disaster response capacity, including civilian and military medical capability, must immediately dispatch assets and personnel to West Africa,” international health NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said in a September 2 statement.
A general strike that shook the African state of Guinea ended on February 27 with the appointment of a new prime minister acceptable to the trade unions and the political opposition.
A two-week strike ended late on January 27 after an agreement was reached with President Lansana Conte to delegate some of his powers to a new prime minister. More than 90 people were killed and hundreds injured during police crackdowns on the strike. Hospitals ran out of blood supplies on January 22, when attacks by soldiers and police left dozens dead. Unions called the strike to demand that the president step down and to voice anger at the appalling living conditions in the extremely impoverished west African nation. Guinea, ruled by Conte ever since he took power in a military coup more than 22 years ago, was ranked the most corrupt African country in Transparency International’s 2006 survey. While Guinea is rich in natural resources, some neighbourhoods in the capital, Conakry, do not even have running water or electricity, and low wages and massive inflation mean many cannot afford to buy food. Last May, police killed 20 people when mostly youth protesters in Conakry took to the streets to protest rice and fuel price rises.