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World Bank-IMF Aid to Poor Nations


This is the VOA SpecialEnglish Development Report.

The leaders of the International Monetary Fund and World Bankhave promised to help poor countries whose economies have been hurtby the terrorist attacks in the United States. The two groups heldtheir yearly meeting in Ottawa, Canada last month.

I-M-F Managing Director Horst Koehler and World Bank PresidentJames Wolfensohn announced the added assistance in a jointstatement. They said that many developing countries will likely needadditional international aid because of the economic effects of theattacks. They said their organizations plan to extend current loansand provide more moderate debt-relief terms to many developingcountries.

Economic exerts fear the September eleventh terrorist attacks inNew York City and Washington will worsen economic problems indeveloping countries. They are especially concerned about Pakistanand Turkey. Both nations have played an important part in theAmerican-led fight against terrorism. Economists believe Pakistan'sincreasing refugee crisis and a drop in exports could createpolitical problems for that government.

Mister Koehler and Mister Wolfensohn say that poor countries willbe affected in several ways as the world economy slows. For example,international travel has decreased because of increased securityconcerns. They say areas that were popular for travelers will likelyfeel the effects of the terrorist attacks the most. These includeareas in the Caribbean, Eastern and South Africa, South Asia, andthe Middle East. Private investments in developing markets have alsodecreased. Also, the slowing world economy has led to weaker exportsand a drop in the price of goods, such as coffee, cotton and copper.

Mister Koehler and Mister Wolfensohn believe the number of poorpeople in the world will also increase because of the terroristattacks. The World Bank says farmers in Africa and parts of LatinAmerican will be affected the most. It estimates that aboutten-million more people will be forced to live on less than oneAmerican dollar a day.

Finally, the statement said that rich countries have aresponsibility to help developing countries. Both organizationsurged industrial countries to increase the amount of money given toI-MF and World Bank efforts in the developing world.

This VOA Special English Development Report was written by JillMoss.

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