Thursday, September 17, 2009

The World Bank tries to influence the G-20 meeting

Whenever a meeting of industrialized nations approaches the World Bank usually issues a report to nation heads, with suggestions on what the leaders should discuss or decide. The G-20 will gather in Pittsburgh next week, so the World Bank is asking the leaders to not forget the poor nations.

The bank says it sees signs that the global economic crisis is over, but warns the under developed world will be the last to recover. The Bank is also calling on an increase in agricultural assistance which the G-8 promised to aid earlier this year.

From the Wall Street Journal we find out more about what World Bank has to say. Reporter Tom Barkley recieved some quotes from the Bank's president Robert Zoellick.

In a report prepared for G-20 leaders meeting in Pittsburgh next week, the bank warned that the global crisis is poised to push an additional 89 million people into extreme poverty by the end of next year if additional help isn't provided.

"The poorest countries may not be well represented on the G-20, but we cannot ignore the long-term costs of the global downturn on their people's health and education," World Bank President Robert Zoellick said.

The bank said recent developments suggest the global recession "may be coming to an end," including signs that the slowdown in production and trade may be over.

But low-income countries that were the last to get hit by the global slump are expected to take longer to emerge, still suffering from a drop in the capital, trade and remittance flows their economies depend on.

"With the world economy still fragile and signs of global recovery tentative, low-income countries face a long and muted recovery," the report said.

Low-income countries as a group are expected to face an external financing gap of $59 billion this year. With private financing flows on the decline, these countries will become even more dependent on external aid, the bank said.

Exports of low-income countries are poised to fall 5% to 10% this year, with remittances expected to decline 5% to 7%. Private capital flows are expected to drop to $13 billion this year from $21.4 billion in 2008, according to the bank.

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