Monday, September 18, 2006

Here is the document from the World Bank's Development Committee.

Skimming it, the Bank will work with countries, unlike the MCC, by actually helping with governance issues and anti-corruption, but will suspend support if it gets really bad. If I had a little more stamina, I could find out what this threshold actually is.

And this is the first serious test for Wolfowitz as director of the Bank, whether this can work while still making a dent in poverty levels (the real goal of the Bank, remember?). Certainly he's gotten everyone on board, but there had been no adequate justification for suspending support to certain countries; now there is a reason. In a speech recently of Caio Koch-Weser, he said the the jury was still out on Wolfowitz; but I think opinions are being formed right about now and hinge on the next suspension of Bank support.

But if we think about this in a bigger picture, the Bank is creating greater restrictions for developing countries, even though this approach makes sense. And the UK had criticized the increase of greater requirements and more conditionality for World Bank client countries.

Remember when we couldn't stop talking about the evils of conditionality after that Stiglitz book...? Perhaps the critics have a point.

No comments: