Tuesday, May 17, 2005

World Bank answers critics - Khaleej Times

Poortman strongly dismissing accusations that riders attached to assistance from World Bank lead to higher taxes in the developing world said, “what we provide is developmental assistance. When we provide such assistance we also provide our knowledge, services and advice to the borrowers so that they can achieve the intended benefits of our assistance. We do not order governments to raise taxes but only help them in bringing about a transition that could generate more growth and employment.”

He aked the media to verify with concerned government officials and developmental agencies associated with the implementation of projects funded by the World Bank before raising allegations against the bank.
DUBAI — With unemployment in excess of 13 per cent of the labour force, MENA faces the tough challenge of creating over four million jobs per year over the next two decades, Christiaan Poortman, Vice-President of the World Bank for Middle East and North Africa (MENA), said yesterday.

Poortman made the statement during his address at the plenary session of the "Urban Children and Youth in the MENA Region: Addressing Priorities in Education". He added that unemployment falls disproportionately on youth, as first time job seekers constitute more than half of the region's unemployed. Mayors of cities and local authorities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) were urged by the World Bank senior official to deepen linkages and partnerships among them and work quickly on behalf of children and youth who deserve the best.

Poortman pointed out MENA cities have witnessed an unprecedented demographic growth over the past decade. “Just two decades ago, only 30 per cent of the MENA population lived in cities. Now over 60 per cent do and over half of those inhabitants are children and youth.


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