Лансет катит бочку на Волфовица за то, что Всемирный Банк увязывает программы помощи и развития с бушевской религиозной идеологией, ограничением абортов, отказа от планирования семьи (читай: пропаганда полной абстиненции и запрет на пропаганду презервативов) и пр.
The past weeks have been turbulent for Paul Wolfowitz, head of the World Bank since June, 2005. His job now hangs by a thread after his involvement in the promotion and pay rise of his girlfriend, a former Bank employee.
The controversy undermines the Bank’s credibility as the leading global development institution for human health, par ticularly because Wolfowitz made ending government corruption his signature issue at the organisation.
Adding to Wolfowitz’s woes are accusations that President Bush’s policies are infl uencing the Bank’s strategy. The Bank’s new 10-year plan for health, nutrition, and population—a strategy that will aff ect the health of millions of people—has been mired in controversy over its wording on sexual and reproductive health.
Last Tuesday, European nations objected to a US eff ort to change the language in the health strategy, making women’s access to reproductive health services, including abortions, more restrictive. The Bank’s managing direc
tor, Juan José Daboub, a Wolfowitz appointee, also stands accused of watering down the reproductive health part of the strategy and deleting references to family planning in a funding proposal to tackle HIV and poverty in Madagascar. Daboub’s position at the Bank must now be brought into question.
Bank employees were so dismayed at the attempted manipulation of the new health strategy that they leaked information to advocacy groups to ensure
intense lobbying over its wording would take place.
The latest version of the health strategy, seen by health campaigners, now recognises the reproductive health rights of women. These recent events should provide an opportunity for the Bank to refl ect on and improve the way it operates in the future. As well as undermining the organisation’s work
and demoralising its staff , the current crisis could provide an excuse for donors to delay or, worse, halt their funding commitments to the Bank. As The Lancet went to press, Wolfowitz remained determined to keep his position.
He and the Bank’s board of directors must remember the organisation’s mission to alleviate poverty. They must do what is best for the world’s poorest people and negotiate Wolfowitz’s quick resignation. ■ The Lancet