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World Bank Says $49.3 Billion Pledged to Help Poorest
Source: web.worldbank.org
Source Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Created: Dec 21, 2010

“Rich and emerging market nations agreed to put up $49.3 billion to top up a World Bank fund to aid the world's poorest countries, digging deeper to find more money despite strained budgets at home. World Bank President Robert Zoellick said on Wednesday the commitments marked an 18 percent increase from the last time that the International Development Association, or IDA, was replenished in 2007 and said it was possible in part because some major developing countries stepped up with pledges….” [Reuters/Factiva]

Xinhua adds that “…the new funding is expected to help immunize 200 million more children, extend health services to over 30 million people, ensure better water availability to 80 million more people, train and recruit over two million more teachers and build 80,000 kilometers of roads to improve market access. In addition to delivering development results, IDA will also give a special focus on addressing gender issues, climate change and fragile, conflict-affected countries….” [Xinhua/Factiva]

FT writes that “…Zoellick hailed the three-year deal, which was agreed on Wednesday in Brussels by representatives of the Bank's shareholder governments. ‘This strong level of support is a testimony to the IDA's focus on results that bring improvements on the ground for poor people,’ he said.

But while ministers have put increasing pressure on the Bank to show that its lending and grants are effective in reducing problems such as poverty and infant mortality, those same governments have declined to issue details at this stage of where the money will come from….” [Financial Times]

The Washington Post adds that “…Zoellick said he could not provide details on individual donors until the World Bank board approves the funding package early next year…. [However,] Britain said it had promised $4.2 billion over the next three years. British officials said that represents a nearly 25 percent increase in local currency at a time when the government in London is pressing painful spending and benefits cuts on its citizens….” [The Washington Post]

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