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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

“There is no end in sight to the misuse of power by those in public office—and corruption levels are perceived to be as high as ever in both the developed and developing worlds,” said Peter Eigen, Chair of Transparency International, speaking at a Paris press conference in June to launch the nonprofit organization’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2001. “There is a worldwide corruption crisis,” he continued, “and that is the clear message from the Corruption Perceptions Index 2001, which reflects the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians. Scores of less than 5 out of a clean score of 10 are registered by countries on every continent, including members of the Organization of American States and the European Union.”

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Amid blaring headlines on Iraq, war, and reconstruction, several African finance ministers and a central bank governor held a press briefing on April 11 in Washington to remind the world that their continent’s needs required urgent and continued attention. Charles Konan Banny (Governor of the Central Bank of West African States), Benjamin Radavidson (Madagascar), Timothy T. Thahane (Lesotho), Joseph B. Dauda (Sierra Leone), and Gerald M. Ssendaula (Uganda) reported on progress with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), highlighted pressing issues, among them market access, meeting the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, and debt relief. They appealed to donors to attend to Afghani and Iraqi needs but not withdraw support for Africa’s determined effort to reduce poverty.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

At the African Union summit in Maputo, Mozambique, in July and the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Dubai in late September, African leaders underscored their commitment to sound policies and good governance but expressed strong frustration with donor countries’ slowness in keeping up their end of the bargain. Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané, who has headed the IMF’s African Department for the past two years after serving as Benin’s Minister of Finance and Economy, talks with Laura Wallace about what he sees as the biggest stumbling blocks to ensuring a better future for the African continent.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Leaders of the IMF and the World Bank met for the first time with leaders of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva on October 22. The meetings followed a number of staff-level discussions since 2002 on issues related to poverty reduction and development. The leaders acknowledged significant areas of common ground between the Bretton Woods institutions and the WCC but also continuing differences that need to be further explored.

LYN SQUIRE

If developing countries face up to the realities of AIDS and act quickly, millions of lives can be saved. The three articles on AIDS in this issue look at the epidemic from an economic perspective and outline priorities for developing countries in preventing the spread of HIV and helping people already infected.

MEAD OVER

The AIDS epidemic is straining the limited resources available to many developing country governments. How can governments provide support to those affected by AIDS without neglecting others in need or abandoning important development goals?

Mr. Vivek B. Arora

The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The sixty-third meeting of the Development Committee was held in Washington on April 30 under the chairmanship of Yashwant Sinha, Minister of Finance of India. The Committee also met on April 29 in joint session with the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) to focus on strengthened cooperation to foster growth and fight poverty in the world’s poorest countries.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IMF Deputy Managing Director Eduardo Aninat leaves the IMF on July 1 to return to Chile, where he was Finance Minister from 1994–1999. Aninat joined the IMF’s four-member management team in December 1999, with broad responsibilities in running the IMF—including overseeing the launching of a major technical assistance initiative in Africa. He talks with Laura Wallace about the late May opening of the West Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center (West AFRITAC) in Mali (see article below), seven months after the opening of a similar center in East Africa.