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Chrystia Freeland and Felix Salmon on the World Bank and dictatorships

April 5, 2011

At 2:15 p.m. tomorrow, on Wednesday, April 6, Chrystia Freeland will interview World Bank President Robert Zoellick in Washington, D.C. In this video, Reuters Financial Blogger Felix Salmon and Reuters Editor-at-Large Chrystia Freeland discuss what they think the World Bank’s role should be in the uprisings in the Middle East and in supporting countries run by dictatorships versus helping the poor in undeveloped countries.


The role of the World Bank IS to fight poverty in developing countries! So the last sentence of the intro above simply doesn’t make sense – there is no “versus” in its mandate. It’s mission is to “help people help themselves and their environment” ie work at the grass roots. It is not in the business of “supporting countries” – of whatever complexion. And as you say in the video it is legally technically accountable to its Board (representing 187 countries – so all types of government. Worth noting that the Bank is pretty active in MENA:

Posted by adamquinton | Report as abusive

Ibrahim Shihata, the Bank’s General Counsel during the 1980′s and 1990′s, came to the World Bank from the OPEC Fund. Shihata would have found Zoellick’s latest publicity stunt deeply offensive in light of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and House Appropriations Committee’s serious criticism of the Bank’s lack of transparency, attempt to evade Congressional oversight, and refusal to implement the Lugar Leahy amendment to protect lawyers and accountants who disclose corruption at the World Bank. ng/?id=33c66777-5056-a032-525a-a0a580663 4e9 ctionid=12&sectiontree=4,12&itemid=983

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