WB receives $49b to help poor countries on millennium goals
KAMPALA: The World Bank has received a total pledge of $49.3 billion from donors to fund development avenues directed towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The pledge to low developing countries targets to enhance a speedy achievement of MDGs by 2015.
The final funding agreement was signed in Brussels last week where donors and the World Bank agreed that loan facilities to LDCs will be channeled through the World Bank's soft window which provides credit lines and minimal grants to 79 countries of the world's poorest. According to the agreement, over the next three years, the International Development Agency, the World Bank lending arm, will help 79 of the world's poorest in overcoming poverty by financing infrastructure development, improving health services, educating children, and combating climate change. Specific focus will also address gender issues and helping countries with fragile political environments and those affected by conflict. The World Bank and donors stressed that just like the past, Sub-Saharan Africa remains a major focus of IDA's support. Out of 79 worlds' poorest countries that the World Bank supports through IDA through resources mobilized from donors and within the World Bank, 39 of them are in Africa including Uganda. About 20 per cent of IDA's funding is provided as grants, the rest is in the form of interest-free, longterm credit. Nearly all IDA's credit lines have no interest charges and repayments are stretched over 35 to 40 years, including a 10-year grace period. "The pledges show support from an extraordinary global coalition of donors and borrowers which have come together to ensure that even in these difficult economic times we offer hope and opportunity to the world's poor," said WB Group President Mr Robert B. Zoellick. -PB News