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Ghana Will Not Submit to IMF Dictates-VEEP   
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The Vice President, Mr John Mahama, has said the government will not submit to the dictates of the IMF and the World Bank at the expense of the people’s welfare.

Instead, he said government as engaging the two multilateral institutions with its eyes “wide open”, by using the opportunity to stabilise the economy while ensuring that investments in poverty eradication programmes achieved its intended purposes.

Owing to the impact of the world food and financial crisis, the government initiated a stabilization programme with financial support from the Bretton Wood institutions but this has raised lively discussions about the implications of their policies on the country.
Opening the fourth General Assembly of Social Watch, an international NGO network in Accra yesterday, Mr Mahama gave the assurance that “government will not shirk its social contact with the people by sacrificing their welfare on the altar of fiscal and monetary expediency.”

The three day assembly, on the theme, ‘People first: Social watch’s response to the global crises,’ has brought together over 100 delegates from 50 countries across the world to examine the implications of the systemic crisis on human, social and gender rights, and alternative solutions to the crisis.

Vice-President Mahama pointed out that the welfare of the people was human rights issue in as much as the basic needs of Ghanaians- good, shelter, health and education – have implications for good governance and democracy.

He stressed that the fall-out from the global crisis calls for the need of each country to pay attention to its particular circumstances and carry out policies that best advance the interest of its people.
The Vice-President said even though there was great optimism in some countries and circles that the worst economic crisis to hit the world in 80 years was bottoming out and that an upturn was on the horizon, it would take some countries many years to recover from the negative impact of the multiple crisis.

Mr Mahama noted that the effects of the crisis on the poor and many women and children had been profound, adding the proportion of the incomes of the urban poor that went into food increase significantly.
He said: “The global crisis and the responses to it have firmly place the issues of global economic governance including the role for the IMF and the World Bank firmly at the centre of the global policy agenda.”

“Small countries such as Ghana will use the processes within the UN system to articulate its views on an equal footing with other states,” he added.

Since its emergence into the global scene 14 years ago, vice President Mahama said Social Watch, through its network in more than 60 countries, had demonstrated the importance of contributions civil society could make generally to strengthening Democratic Culture as well as internal policy making.
Source: Times

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