Bro. Erle Frayne Argonza
Magandang araw! Good day!
Aid commitments to the south by the more developed economies of the North have been among the news trends recently. There is, for instance, the commitment of $25 Billion per year for the whole African continent, a commitment that hopefully won’t fly in the air as mere political promise.
A relevant news concerns IMF-World Bank actions about the matter.
[30 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to DevEx database news.
IMF, World Bank & IFI Round-UpLeaders of the Group of Eight rich nations are set to backtrack on their landmark pledge at the Gleneagles summit in 2005 to increase development aid to Africa to USD 25 billion a year. A draft communiqué obtained by the Financial Times, due to be issued at the group's July summit in Hokkaido, Japan, shows leaders will commit to fulfilling "our commitments on [development aid] made at Gleneagles" - but fails to cite the target of USD 25 billion annually by 2010. This goal - which was repeated at last year's G8 summit in Germany - was seen as an important boost for Africa. The ambitious plan was a cornerstone of former UK prime minister Tony Blair's G8 presidency and championed by his successor, Gordon Brown. Warning that rising food and oil prices pose a crisis for the world's poor, Robert B. Zoellick, the President of the World Bank, is calling on President Bush and other leaders convening in Japan next week for the G8 summit meeting to make new aid commitments to avert starvation and instability in dozens of countries. Zoellick's letter, obtained by NYT, came with a lengthy study of the impact of rising prices for food, fuel and commodities on the world's poor. Zoellick said in his letter that the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Food Program (WPF) had short-term needs of USD 10 billion. Zoellick's letter calculates that, for the world's 41 poorest countries, the combined impact of high food, fuel and other commodities is a ‘negative shock' to their economies, reducing GDP by between 3 and 10 percent, causing ‘broken lives and stunted potential' for millions. The World Bank gave the go-ahead at a board meeting July 1 for the creation of a pair of global investment funds to back developing nations' efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. The Climate Investment Funds, led by Japan, Britain and the US and to be administered by the World Bank, are expected to start with total initial funds of USD 5 billion and become operational by the end of the year, it said. The approval of the Clean Technology Fund and Strategic Climate Fund comes days before a summit of G8 in Hokkaido, Japan, on July 8 where climate change issues are on the agenda. ‘The G8 is likely to broadly support the establishment of the climate investment funds,' Warren Evans, Director of the World Bank's environment department, told reporters. A new IMF study, looking at the impact of soaring oil and food costs, said many poor and developing countries will likely have to change their economic policies in response to soaring commodity prices, AFP reported. The IMF Food and Fuel Prices--Recent Developments, Macroeconomic Impact, and Policy Response report found that poor households are most affected by food price inflation and "warned that the share of undernourished (people) in developing countries could rise rapidly above the current 40 percent of total population." Energy and food values are still rising and the IMF said its research suggests the "problem is worsening." The World Bank's private sector arm has launched a new fund it hopes will unlock as much as USD 5 billion in infrastructure investment for the world's poorest countries. As part of its drive to reach deeper into some of the most forbidding markets, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will use a pot of USD 100 million to cover the initial costs of power, logistics, and transport, ports and communications projects. Once a project is shown to be viable, it will be tendered to other investors, the Financial Times (UK) reported. Working with an initial partner, the IFC fund - known as InfraVentures - will cover start-up costs such as feasibility studies and legal fees. Half of its resources will be devoted to sub-Saharan Africa, with the remainder spread across Latin America and Asia.