who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Wolfowitz on Africa, grants and restructuring. Le Figaro carries an interview with Paul Wolfowitz. The World Bank president nominee is guarded about most points. But some responses are interesting. On Africa he agrees that “my experience is limited”, except for the large role he played in the decision to intervene militarily in Somalia in 1992. He still believes that was the right decision. If approved as Bank president he tells Le Figaro he would go to Africa as soon as possible.

On the question of whether the Bank should provide loans or grants to the poorest countries Wolfowitz at first uses his stock phrase this week of “wanting to hear all opinions on the subject” then states that there has been a 30 year trend toward debt relief and increasing grants. This strongly implies that he supports the US government position on the subject.

On how much he would seek to change at the Bank he first praised the outgoing president then states “I am sure there are things to change, as in all large organisations. It was also the case at the Defense Department. … But believe me I am not going to the Bank with a pre-prepared political programme or critique. We do need to convince donor countries to be more generous and need to convince taxpayers that their money is spent wisely”.

Alex Wilks ~ March 19, 2005

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