Christine Lagarde's crass comments on Greece have caused an understandable furore in that country. But in Niger, there must be just as much contempt for the IMF director. For in dismissing the plight of mothers in Greece, Lagarde also said she felt more sympathy for 'the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger'. If 'sympathy' is what characterises the IMF's approach to Niger, then Greece would do better to avoid it. Niger comes into news headlines on a fairly regular basis – associated as it is with cycles of famine and constantly high levels of malnutrition. Less reported is the role of the IMF, along with sister organisation the World Bank, in fuelling this suffering, writes Nick Dearden in the London Guardian.
May 31, 2012