Monday, April 27, 2009

Robert Zoellick calls on rich nations to "accelerate aid"

To end the World Bank's spring meeting Robert Zoellick used his speech to demand more from the rich nations to help the poor during the global recession. The head of the World Bank warned of a "human catastrophe" unless the rich nations do more. Zoellick also admitted that the Millennium Development Goals are likely will not be met because of the recession.

From the BBC, are some quotes from the Zoellick's speech.

"There is a widespread recognition that the world faces an unprecedented economic crisis, poor people could suffer the most and that we must continue to act in real time to prevent a human catastrophe," said Mr Zoellick.

He added that no-one yet knew how long the global recession would last.

In a joint statement, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) said they had urged "all donors to accelerate delivery of commitments to increase aid, and for us all to consider going beyond existing commitments".

World Bank managing director, and former Nigerian Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said there was now a real crisis in Africa as a result of the worldwide recession.

She said that as a result of falling demand for commodities and other exports, government budgets were falling short across the continent.

"This means that [governments] cannot pay teachers or health workers, and we are hearing of people who can't eat three square meals a day," she said.

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