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Donors Pledge Almost $49.3B For World Bank’s International Development Association Fund

The World Bank on Wednesday announced that its International Development Association (IDA) fund will receive $49.3 billion over the next three years, Bloomberg reports (Christie/Martens, 12/15).

“The pledges to the [IDA] for 2011 to 2014 – 18 percent higher than the last round – will help immunise 200 million children, offer health services to over 30 million people and give access to improved water to another 80 million, the bank said in a statement,” Agence France-Presse reports (10/15). The IDA, which is replenished at a donors conference every three years, “supports health, education, food security and building programs through grants and long-term, interest-free loans to the world’s 79 least-developed countries,” the Washington Post writes. “This year it marked a record for giving, with 51 countries agreeing to contribute,” the newspaper adds.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick “would not say how much any individual country was putting up. He said it was up to the 51 donor countries themselves to make that information public,” Reuters reports (Somerville, 12/15). According to the Washington Post, the U.S. pledged $3.7 billion during the last IDA funding round. “Treasury Department officials would not release the amount of the latest U.S. pledge,” the newspaper writes. Britain, which overtook the U.S. “as the single largest donor” in the last funding round, “said it had promised $4.2 billion over the next three years,” the Washington Post reports (Schneider, 12/16). “The top 20 donors, as a group, increased their pledges, Zoellick said. In general, countries had smaller increases than they have had in the past, and some countries reduced their contribution while others gave funds for the first time, he said,” according to Bloomberg (12/15). 

Zoellick “hailed the three-year deal, which was agreed on Wednesday in Brussels by representatives of the bank’s shareholder governments,” the Financial Times writes. “This strong level of support is a testimony to IDA’s focus on results that bring improvements on the ground for poor people,” he said (Beattie, 12/15).

“NGO Oxfam welcomed the replenishment while urging the World Bank to detail how it tracks and spends money in poor countries. And NGOs Eurodad – European debt and development network – and the World Development Movement (WDM) criticised the IDA’s projects,” according to AFP. Nora Honkaniemi of Eurodad said, “donors have failed to use the momentum of the replenishment to leverage overdue changes in the World Bank” (12/15).

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