Friday, October 10, 2008

Zoellick: Globalization offers tremendous benefits

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Thursday that globalization is of great benefit to helping developing countries reduce poverty.

"If you look at countries that have been able to move people out of poverty, grow, offer new opportunities, the benefits are enormous," Zoellick said at a press conference here.

The World Bank chief said that he had visited those countries from China to Africa, from Brazil to India, and talked to younger people "who feel that this offers a tremendous opening of doors for them."

But for both developed and developing countries, Zoellick said, "You have to make sure that you broaden the benefits of that as much as possible, so in making it inclusive that you try to reach out to poor people to have opportunity, inclusive sort of communities, indigenous peoples."

In a statement, Zoellick said more attention should be paid to the vulnerable countries in the world.

"Some 28 countries are already fiscally highly vulnerable from the twin shocks of food and fuel," he said. "Currently, these countries, on average, are set to receive no increase in project and program aid."

He urged major advanced countries to increase their aid, fulfilling the commitments they made.

"We estimate that 44 million additional people will suffer from malnutrition this year as a result of high food prices," said Zoellick.

"And for the children among them, that means lost potential that will never be regained," he said, adding "We cannot let a financial crisis become a human crisis."

The World Bank and its sister institution the International Monetary Fund will hold their annual meeting here on Oct. 13.


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