World Bank Head Finishes African Tour, Calls on U.S. to Increase Aid to Continent
June 20, 2005
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz finished his weeklong tour of four African nations on Saturday, calling for the United States to increase its aid to the continent, BBC News reports. Wolfowitz said he will urge the United States to increase its amount of foreign aid to meet the international goal of 0.7% of gross national income. "I'd like to see increased levels of U.S. assistance by whatever means we get there, particularly for Africa," Wolfowitz said, adding, "I think there are some large political constituencies in the United States on both sides of the political aisle that I believe can be mobilized to support that" (Loyn, BBC News, 6/20). Wolfowitz also endorsed a plan recently presented by finance ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations to cancel the debts of 18 of the world's poorest nations, 14 of which are in Africa, according to the Chicago Tribune (Goering, Chicago Tribune, 6/19). Under the agreement, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia would receive immediate forgiveness for the more than $40 billion they owe to the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/13). While on the tour, Wolfowitz visited Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Rwanda and South Africa to assess how best to alleviate poverty, curb the spread of HIV and malaria, and improve overall development in Africa (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/9).
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