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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 12/15/2010

World Bank wins 18% funding boost for poorest nations

By Howard Schneider

Officials meeting in Brussels this week agreed to contribute nearly $50 billion over the next three years to the World Bank fund dedicated to the globe's poorest countries.

The 18 percent boost marked the arrival of some previous aid recipients as donors. World Bank President Robert Zoellick said he could not provide details on individual donors until the World Bank board approves the funding package early next year.

The United States pledged $3.7 billion in the last funding round, negotiated in 2007. Treasury officials would not release the latest pledge. The United Kingdom, which topped the United States last year as the largest single donor, said it had promised $4.2 billion over the next three years. UK officials said that represents a nearly 25 percent increase in local currency at a time when the government in London is pressing through painful spending and benefits cuts on its citizens.

The International Development Association funds health, education, food security and building programs through grants and long-term, interest-free loans to the world's 79 least-developed countries. The fund is replenished every three years at a donors conference, and this year marked a record for giving and a record of 51 countries agreeing to kick-in.

Zoellick said the funding level signaled a recognition that IDA's efforts were important to sustain despite the recent recession and the slow growth in many developed countries. He said the $49.3 billion pledged this week is a "robust" increase over donations negotiated in 2007 before the onset of the recession.

Not all of the money for the fund comes from donations. Some comes from the repayment of IDA's long-term loans and some from the interest earnings generated by other World Bank programs. In the 2007 funding round, donors provided about $25 billion of the roughly $42 billion total. Zoellick said that figure has increased, but he would not provide details. The total donor amount this year represents $31.7 billion of the total, compared with the 2007 round.

The money, Zoellick said, will translate into an estimated 200 million child immunizations, better health and water for tens of millions of people, training for millions of teachers, and the construction of nearly 50,000 miles of roads and train tracks.

"This is a very significant accomplishment at a time of budget cuts in many donor countries," Zoellick said. "Many have stretched at a time of economic difficulty at home...They see that overcoming growth also benefits the developed world...They know this is not charity. It is an investment in peace and progress."

World Bank list of countries that graduated from the International Development Association loan programs.

By Howard Schneider  | December 15, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  International Economics  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Economic agenda: Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010


"Poorest Nation" should be the one with the largest national debt.

Hummmmmmmmmmmm, who would that be?

More "Stimulus", anyone?

Posted by: dskiff | December 15, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Is Lesotho included? It is so dominated by South Africa's enclave that it usually gets forgotten, yet it is NOT part of South Africa. Big companies like the GAP make jeans in Lesotho and pollute the water the people drink. Kids are now calling water "blue water", from the ink remains of the jeans' materials!! Check it out, just google Lesotho and the GAP. Help the children of Lesotho today.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone calculated, what the US has donated to the poorest nations, by way of sending what were once well-paying jobs to these countries.

Probably trillions of dollars. Waive good by. Eye the traitors selling our nation out for a cut of the action.

A hundred jobs to the Philippines, a thousand, to India, ten thousand to China...again and again and again.

Can we extend unemployment benefits? Again, and again, and again.

There are no jobs, no employment in this nation that pays a salary that supports the cost of living.

Thirty million people are looking for work or looking for more work to supplement meager incomes.

But the individual who ship the thousands of jobs overseas, receives his thirty pieces of silver, and tax advantaged blessings encouraging him to continue removing the foundation of a formerly stable, thriving civilization.

Posted by: justhefacs | December 15, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

how much has obama given away now...
obama should stop promising what he cannot deliver...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 15, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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