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March 1, 2011: Libya

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IMF Under Lagarde In Stasis on Libya & Horn of Africa Famine, Ignores Questions on Sudan, Jamaica, Kabul Bank

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 8, updated below -- The International Monetary Fund under Christine Lagarde makes many promise, such as aid to the Horn of Africa drought and to democratizing Arab countries, and then delivers little, without taking questions or providing explanations.

  Two weeks ago Inner City Press asked IMF deputy spokesman David Hawley what the IMF would do in famine stricken Somalia. Hawley said the IMF does not recognize any government there, including the UN-recognized Transitional Federal Government; the IMF bragged however that it would work with neighboring Kenya and Djibouti.

  During Thursday IMF bi-weekly briefing Inner City Press posed follow up questions, including "on the Horn of Africa and drought, what has the IMF done in the past two weeks beyond setting up a mission to Kenya in October to discuss easing pressure on the shilling?"

Acting lead spokesman Gerry Rice took only two online questions, about Greece and Pakistan, and did not acknowledge the follow up or provide any update on Lagarde's Horn of Africa claims.

On Libya, two weeks ago Hawley answered Inner City Press that the IMF could not yet recognize the Transitional National Council. During the September 8 briefing, Inner City Press asked by online form and then email, "On Libya, the UN's post-conflict planning report says the World Bank was involved, but not the IMF. What has been the IMF's involvement on Libya in the past weeks and months? and going forward?"

Rice did not acknowledge or answer the question. When another journalist in the room asked for a Libya update, Rice said that nothing has changed since the answer two weeks ago, the IMF is "monitoring developments... hoping for an end to the conflict."

The question remains: why was the World Bank but not IMF involved in the Ian Martin coordinated UN system planning for "post-conflict" Libya? Watch this site.

Ban Ki-moon & Lagarde: the former recognized TFG, the latter doesn't

 Other questions Inner City Press submitted without any answer or acknowledgment by embargo deadline included:

What is the IMF's response to the requests by Arab finance ministers this week, particularly regarding Sudan and its debt? What is the IMF's involvement on the Sudan debt issue?

Re Jamaica, does IMF agree with gov't statement that "Unless a replacement for a wage freeze is found, Jamaica's agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could be in big trouble, according to Financial Secretary Dr. Wesley Hughes"?

What is the status of the IMF's dealing with Afghanistan about Kabul Bank?

Watch this site.

 Update of 11:30 am -- an hour after embargo deadline, one answer has been received:

"As you know the IMF has been discussing additional financial aid for Kenya and Djibouti. I can tell you that a formal request has now been received from Kenya, and this will be considered by the Board. We’ll update you on timing when we have it."

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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