Canada is claiming credit for brokering a compromise that will ensure a multibillion-dollar international development agency has the money it needs to help the world’s poorest countries.
Funding for the International Development Association, an arm of the World Bank, had been in limbo while the United States and several European countries argued over how best to fund it.
The Americans wanted the association to hand out 50 per cent of its funding in the form of grants with conditions attached, to ensure the aid recipients enacted changes to ensure the new money is used to help build self-sustaining societies.
Europeans, however, wanted the association to continue issuing zero-interest loans with no conditions.
In the end, it was decided the association will issue 18 to 21 per cent of its funding as grants, up from zero.
Canadian officials said yesterday this country played a key role in convincing both sides that the goals of the association were too important to let them get sidetracked by an argument over money.
Finance minister John Manley said solving the dispute was a priority for Canada, one for which the country has “pushed very hard.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill said that with the compromise, the United States will now work to replenish the association’s funds.
“This is a victory for poor nations around the world,” O’Neill said in a release.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. NoNonsense English offers this material non-commercially for research and educational purposes. I believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner, i.e. the media service or newspaper which first published the article online and which is indicated at the top of the article unless otherwise specified.