WASHINGTON -- A coalition of environmentalists, churches, and human rights groups launched a campaign Thursday demanding accountability from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, charging that their policies destroy the environment and hurt the poor.

ReP. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., called on Congress to withhold approval of the Clinton administration's request for funds for the Washington-based multilateral institutions.

The World Bank and IMF were created 50 years ago at the Bretton Woods conference to organize international relations once World War II ended.

Moratorium on Aid Urged

The "50 years is enough" campaign sparked by more than 35 environmental, development, religious, and human rights groups is promoting a "moratorium on certain U.S. contributions to the World Bank and the IMF until these institutions turn away from policies that uproot and further impoverish the poor."

"The World Bank welcomes debate on development," a bank spokesman said. "We are always willing to engage in a constructive dialogue and we work with a wide range of development in nongovernmental organizations in rich and poor countries."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.