The role of the IMF must not be forgotten

Dear Editor,

Some letter writers seem to be obsessed with the 28 years of PNC rule, they never mention the role the IMF played in the economic problems of most developing countries during the 70s and 80s.

The IMF stopped financing the balance of payment deficits of oil importing countries such as Guyana and forced them to cut back on their development programmes. Most of these countries went into debt. The policy conditions laid down by the fund for balance of payments assistance included removal of food subsidies, reducing expenditure on health and education. These conditions hurt the poor most, especially the urban poor, this was during the 1970s and 80s.

The situation today is much more favourable to developing countries, with debt relief and assistance from the OECD and G8 countries.

Some countries are even cancelling Guyana’s loans, Also, remittances from overseas Guyanese have assisted the country enormously. It is not only government policies that have brought about improvements. The per capita income in Guyana is still under US$1000 as compared to Barbados US$7500.

Yours faithfully,

FA Neblett

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