Yesterday, embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz told NPR that under his presidency, there have been no “changes in the Bank’s policies in reproductive health in family planning.” He stated, “Let me make it very clear. Our policy hasn’t changed. … It is a development issue. The policy of this institution I think was very clear before I got here and it will remain very clear.”
But the Government Accountability Project (GAP) has uncovered Bank documents that show Wolfowitz and his appointees have attempted to reverse a long-standing policy of promoting family planning.
Juan Jos© Daboub, a managing director (MD) hired by Wolfowitz last year, recently “instructed a team of Bank specialists to delete all references to family planning from the proposed Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Madagascar,” even though the country’s government has specifically asked for help in that area:
Additionally, a draft of the pending Health, Nutrition, and Population Strategy (HNP), obtained from Daboub’s office, mentions family planning just once — in reference to 2006 reproductive health project in the Caribbean that supported family planning services (p. 120). In contrast, the previous HNP (1997) identified a “lack of access to family planning services as a primary health challenge.”
Even though Wolfowitz is no longer a member of the Bush administration, his World Bank policies continue to support the President’s conservative priorities: promoting abstinence-only policies and conservative ideology over solid scientific research.