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Business News Wed, 12 Nov 2008

World Bank to increase support for developing countries

Accra, Nov. 12, GNA - The World Bank Group on Wednesday said it would substantially increase financial support for developing countries, including the launch or expansion of four facilities for the crisis-hit private sector that was critical to employment, recovery and growth. The pledge follows the rapid increase of global financial crisis. Making the announcements ahead of a G20 Summit this weekend, the World Bank Group said its International Bank for Reconstruction and Development could make new commitments of up to 100 billion dollars over the next three years.

This increase in financial support would protect the poorest and most vulnerable from harm, support countries facing big budget shortfalls, and help sustain long-term investments upon which recovery and long-term development would depend.

In a statement issued by the World Bank Group on November 11, Mr Robert Zoellick, President, said in discussing the global financial crisis, leaders should not lose sight of human crisis because they were the poorest and vulnerable to affect.

It said sharply tighter credit conditions and weaker growth were likely to cut into government revenues and their ability to invest to meet education, health and gender goals, as well as the infrastructure expenditures needed to sustain growth. Mr Zoellick said the response to this crisis should be global, co-ordinated, flexible and fast. While the challenges need to be addressed at the country level, it was more critical than ever that the international community acted in a coordinated and supportive way to make each country's task easier. He said the global financial crisis, coming so soon after the food and fuel crises, was likely to hurt the poor mostly in developing countries.

It said the World Bank, in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund, UN agencies, regional development banks and others, would help both governments and the private sector through lending, equity investments, innovative new tools, and safety net programmes. Apart from expanded lending, the World Bank Group was also working to speed up grants and long-term, interest-free loans to the world's 78 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. 12 Nov. 08

Source: GNA