Annual Forum Papers

Multilateral Organisations: Instruments for Donors' Foreign Policy?

  • Year: 2004
  • Author(s): Espen Villanger

"The United States has played a leading role in shaping the World Bank's agenda, and Bank projects often support U.S. foreign policy goals. For example, the Bank is providing resources to assist in the transition of central Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union from communist to market-basedsystems. The Bank has also directed significant resources to crisis areas where the United States has strong interests, such as Bosnia, Haiti, and the West Bank and Gaza. Compromise is sometimes necessary in the Bank as in anymultilateral organization. For example, the United States favored immediate graduation of China from eligibility for IDA credits but agreed that new IDA lending to this country should end in 1999 after other members, particularly Japan, opposed the U.S. position. However, insofar as the United States can ensure that Bank projects support U.S. foreign policy goals, U.S. contributionsare multiplied many times over by those of other member countries." [United States General Accounting Office (1996)]