What has been the World Bank’s role in the privatization of water resources in developing countries?



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    In the 80’s the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) focused on what they called “structural adjustment projects.” These projects were aimed at “fixing” the perceived flaws in the social and governmental structure that were thought to cause “underdevelopment.” So when loans were given to developing countries many strings were attached obliging them to take on these adjustments of which often was the privatization of previous state run services such as water, electricity, hospitals and the like, under the assumption that free market forces would do a better job of providing for the population while spurring foreign investment in the country. Unfortunately this was rarely if ever the case as such services are very expensive and private countries either didn’t want to undertake them or if they did wanted to charge far more then the common people could afford. Many countries are still suffering the effects of these adjustments to this day.

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