World Bank Commitments During Economic Crisis Reach All-Time High
The World Bank on Wednesday announced it "has committed a record $100 billion in financial support over the past 18 months to help developing countries recover from the global economic crisis," Reuters reports.
"The bulk of the lending since the onset of the crisis in 2008, about $60.3 billion, was to middle-income countries, which struggled to borrow on global financial markets. Typical lending for these countries had averaged about $15 billion a year before the crisis," the news service writes. "Meanwhile, loans and grants through the Bank's fund for the world's poorest countries reached $21.2 billion during the crisis compared to about $12 billion a year prior to the crisis" (Wroughton, 4/8).
The financial commitments include "safety nets for the poor, infrastructure to create jobs and build a foundation for recovery, agriculture to support small farmers, and microfinance to help small and micro enterprises," according to a World Bank press release (4/7).
"Under the commitments, World Bank lending to health and social services increased significantly from $1.6 billion in 2008 to $6.3 billion in 2009 and to $5.1 billion in just the first nine months of 2010," All Headline News reports. "World Bank commitments supporting social safety net programs for the poorest and most vulnerable citizens in the poorest countries increased exponentially from $253 million in 2008 to $3.1 billion in 2009 and to $2.1 billion to date in 2010, according to the announcement," the news service adds (Islam, 4/7).
"I'm very pleased the World Bank Group has stepped up and delivered during the economic crisis. Our developing country partners know that we will assist them in their development needs," World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick said in the press release. "As the multi-speed recovery takes shape around the world, countries will face recurring and new challenges, and the World Bank will continue to provide support to overcome poverty and foster sustainable growth" (4/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.