Commentary: A Stimulus Package for the World
A commentary published in the NYT by World Bank President Robert Zoellick writes: "Within his first 100 days, President Obama will attend his inaugural global summit meeting: an April gathering of the G20 industrialized and developing nations in London. ... Starting with the US, Mr. Obama should call for each developed country to pledge 0.7 percent of its stimulus package to a vulnerability fund for assisting developing countries that can't afford bailouts and deficits.... [New York Times]
'With this modest step, the United States would speed up global recovery, help the world's poor and bolster its foreign policy influence,'" Zoellick said.
The World Bank could manage the [vulnerability] fund with the United Nations and regional development banks, with safeguards to ensure the money is used properly, Zoellick said. The 0.7% figure comes from the U.N.'s target for aid from each economy.
The three priorities for the fund would be to shore up safety nets for the poor, support infrastructure investment and provide financing to small and medium-size businesses and microfinance institutions. [Wall Street Journal]
The World Bank chief warned that there is no time to waste for 'the economic crisis has already pushed an estimated 100 million people back into poverty.'
'Slumping exports have helped imperil the jobs of workers around the world. In many places foreign and domestic investment is frozen. So far we have avoided the currency collapses of 1997 and 1998, but 2009 will be a dangerous year,' he warned.
Zoellick noted that poor people in Africa should not pay the price for a crisis that originated in America." [Xinhua]