In an Op-Ed article published this morning by the International Herald Tribune; Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, former Finance and Foreign Minister of Nigeria, writes in defense of the Bank and its staff.
In her article; “The world needs a stronger World Bank”, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala writes:
“As a former World Bank staff member and as one who worked with the bank while finance minister of Nigeria, I have watched with growing sadness the many recent criticisms of this institution”
She goes on to say:
“By no means is the World Bank perfect. I agree with those, many of them within the bank, who feel reform is overdue. Yet I cannot agree with those who question the need for such an institution today.”
And in the strongest public defense of the bank’s staff yet, she writes:
“Above all, the bank must move quickly to safeguard its greatest asset – its staff. I know from experience that the people working for the World Bank are among the most competent and committed of any working in development in the world, and they have unparalleled experience to offer. I know personally that Bank staffers will favor reform – in fact will demand it – if they are convinced it will enhance the work they do to assist the poor people of the world.”