Monday, June 04, 2007

Millennium ChallengeSeries: New African Development Partnerships- China or the West?

Today’s Headlines: Monday, June 04, 2007

Rich Countries Not Keeping Their Promises For Africa
German Chancellor To Make Climate Protection Top Priority At G-8
Indonesia World's No. 3 Greenhouse Gas Emitter – Report
World Bank To Help Recover Bangladesh's Stolen Assets
Brazilian Pres Lula In India To Discuss Trade, Tech, Ag
Briefly Noted

Rich Countries Not Keeping Their Promises For Africa

“In spite of the promises made in 2005 during the G8 summit in Gleneagles,
Scotland, the amount granted to development programs for many African
countries remained virtually unchanged. Rich countries are not keeping
their promises with respect to aid to Africa and the opening of their
markets to African exports, stated World Bank Chief Economist for the
Africa Region, John Page, on Sunday, in an official statement. …” [Le
Monde (France, 06/04)/Factiva]

AFP writes that “… ‘Many donor countries have increased support for
special humanitarian assistance and debt reduction over four decades, but,
unfortunately this does not translate into additional resources for
African countries to rebuild their infrastructure, train teachers and
combat HIV/AIDS and malaria,’ he emphasized. However, for their part,
African countries are pushing improved governance, and in many case a
significantly more hospitable environment for investment. ‘The question is
less whether the Africa partners are delivering on their promises, but
whether the wealthy industrial nations are honoring theirs’,’ he said.”
[Agence France Presse (06/03)/Factiva]

Xinhua reports that “… With Africa's economic prospects high on the G8
agenda, the World Bank noted that despite the 2005 Gleneagles Summit,
resulting in pledges to increase Africa's development aid to $50 billion
by 2010, foreign assistance for development programs in many African
countries remains essentially flat. Meanwhile, the faltering trade talks
under the World Trade Organization's Doha Round have been another
disappointment. …

While donor aid is lagging, the World Bank said that progress in lowering
debt burdens for Sub-Saharan Africa has moved ahead somewhat faster.
Multilateral debt relief undertaken by the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank will bring about the full
cancellation of $50 billion of debt over 40 years. Beginning in July,
2006, when the initiative took effect, 16 African countries have
benefited. Another 17 will become eligible once the completion of debt
reduction programs under the World Bank's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
Initiative. …” [Xinhua (China, 06/03)/Factiva]

German Chancellor To Make Climate Protection Top Priority At G-8

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel described President George W. Bush's new
initiative on global warming as ‘very welcome’ but cautioned it would have
to be part of the UN treaty negotiating framework. …

Merkel will host Bush, [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair and other
leaders of the G8 in a three-day summit beginning Wednesday in
Heiligendamm, Germany, and the final statement will be closely watched for
how much agreement can be achieved on measures against climate change. …”
[Associated Press (06/04)/Factiva]

AP adds that “...In an interview in Der Spiegel news weekly, Merkel said
UN involvement was ‘not negotiable’ and that she would not engage in
‘shabby compromises’ on the climate change issue. …” [Associated Press

Xinhua writes that “…Merkel said that she believed the US could be brought
into a UN process to fight climate change at the G8 summit …Germany took
the US move as a positive change from its previous position, as the Bush
administration opposed a proposal by Germany to curb greenhouse gas
emissions to 50 percent below the 1990 levels by the year 2020. …” [Xinhua
(China, 06/04)/Factiva]

AFP adds that “…Merkel also seems determined to anchor two other climate
change objectives in a joint G8 communiqué: cutting greenhouse gas
emissions by 50 percent compared to 1990 levels before 2050, and holding
global temperature rises to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)
by century's end. …” [Agence France Presse (06/03)/Factiva]

FT writes that “…Climate change will dominate what should be a tense
three-day summit of the G8 leading industrial economies beginning on
Wednesday as Germany, current chairman of the club, and the US squabble
over how best to tackle global warming.

Speaking in Berlin yesterday before meeting Merkel, Blair said the summit
should set goals for reducing carbon emissions, pledge to establish a
global carbon market, and commit to the UN-led Kyoto process on climate.
...His comments, which reiterated three core demands by Ms Merkel that the
US has opposed, will strengthen the chancellor's hand in her tug-of-war
with Bush, ahead of the summit at Heiligendamm. …” [The Financial Times
(UK, 06/04)]

The Guardian notes that Blair “…speaking in Berlin after talks with
Merkel…said that it would be the people in the world's poorest countries
who suffered most from rising global temperatures: the summit offered the
chance of a ‘historic breakthrough’…

[He] also praised Bush, who last week called for a ‘new global framework’
on climate change, describing it as a first sign that the US president was
ready to take part in international agreements to reduce emissions of
greenhouse gases. …” [The Guardian (06/04)/Factiva]

In related G8 news, AFP reports that “about a thousand anti-globalization
and anti-poverty campaigners are convening in Mali on Monday for a forum
to counter the G8 summit of rich states due in Germany this week.

Participants were expected from Benin, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger,
Senegal and Europe, said Barry Aminata Toure, head of Mali's African
Coalition for Debt and Development, which groups about 60 NGOs. …” [Agence
France Presse (06/03)/Factiva]

Indonesia World's No. 3 Greenhouse Gas Emitter – Report

“Indonesia is among the world's top three greenhouse gas emitters because
of deforestation, peat land degradation and forest fires, a report
sponsored by the World Bank and Britain's development arm said.

An increase of global temperatures has already resulted in prolonged
drought, heavy rainfall leading to floods and tidal waves in Indonesia,
putting the archipelago's rich biodiversity at risk, said the [Indonesia
and Climate Change: Current Status and Policies] report, released on
Monday. …

The report is an effort to raise awareness on how climate change ‘is a
real threat to Indonesia,’ said Joseph Leitmann, Lead Environment
Specialist at the World Bank in Jakarta. …”

[Reuters (06/04)/Factiva]

AFP writes that “Indonesia is particularly vulnerable to the impact of
climate change as global warming threatens to raise sea levels and flood
coastal farming areas, threatening food security. ...

Deforestation and land conversion, mostly by fires, accounted for 75
percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the Indonesian forestry sector, it
said. Rising temperatures due to global warming would further dry up the
rainforest and peat swamps, increasing the risk of even more intense
fires, the report said. …” [Agence France Presse (06/04)/Factiva]

AFX notes that “…The report, released today, said global warming could
increase temperatures, shorten the rainy season and intensify rainfall,
leading to a significant fall in rice yields. It said thousands of farmers
in productive coastal areas would also have to look for other livelihoods
if predictions of a rise in sea levels came true across the vast
archipelago nation. …

Rising temperatures due to global warming would further dry up the
rainforest and peat swamps, increasing the risk of even more intense
fires, the report said. The government has outlawed land-clearing by fire,
but weak enforcement means the ban is largely ignored. …” [AFX (Hong-Kong

World Bank To Help Recover Bangladesh's Stolen Assets

“World Bank South Asia Region Vice President Praful C Patel Saturday said
the Bank would provide assistance to [the] Bangladeshi… government's
anti-corruption drive and help recover the stolen assets. Media reports in
Dhaka said millions of dollars were siphoned off by some corrupt
politicians and deposited in foreign banks during the previous regime of
former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. …

Patel suggested quick prosecutions of the accused corrupt, who were
arrested in recent anti-graft drive. Focusing on credible prosecutions of
several big fish, rather than casting the net too widely, will send the
right signals and enhance the credibility of the Anti-Corruption
Commission in the eyes of the public, he said. He said Bangladeshi
potential growth rate of 8-9 percent has been hampered by the
confrontational politics and corruption in the past. …”

[Xinhua (China, 06/02)/Factiva]

AFP reports that “…Patel's statement came amid reports that the country's
military has helped the government bring back more than three billion taka
($43 million) siphoned off by the country's politicians and
politically-linked businessmen …” [Agence France Presse (06/02)/Factiva]

Reuters adds that “…Patel is the first senior World Bank official to
comment on Bangladesh's state of emergency. … According to the multi
lateral donor agency, Bangladesh's potential growth rate of 8-9 percent
has been hampered by confrontational politics and corruption in the past.

The Bank on Tuesday approved $200 million to bolster reform works and
another $200 million for development support credit. …” [Reuters/Factiva]

United News of Bangladesh writes that “…Patel, [on] Saturday, held out the
offer of assistance, as he concluded a three-day visit at a time when the
country is at war on corruption and serious crime allegedly perpetrated
with political patronage. …

Praful said the Bank is pleased with the government’s commitment to pursue
major economic policy reforms, especially in addressing weak revenue
mobilization, large energy-sector losses, trade liberalization and
outstanding state-owned enterprises liabilities. …[United News of
Bangladesh (06/02)/Asia Pulse/Factiva]

Brazilian Pres Lula In India To Discuss Trade, Tech, Ag

“Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva arrived in the Indian
capital Sunday looking to boost ties in agriculture, science and
technology, trade and investment, defense, space and nuclear energy,
India's External Affairs Ministry said. Lula will sign agreements on
bilateral cooperation during his three-day visit to New Delhi, the
statement said. Details were not immediately available. The Brazilian
president is accompanied by more than 100 key businessmen. …” [Dow Jones
and The Associated Press (06/03)/Factiva]

Reuters reports that “Lula began talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh on Monday … . … The distant countries have forged strong strategic
and trade ties in recent years and have emerged with a common position on
key issues such as global trade talks and expansion of the UN Security
Council. … Lula and Singh are expected to address the issue and also
discuss boosting the use of bio-fuels in India, an area in which Brazil is
a world leader, civilian nuclear cooperation and climate change, Indian
officials said.

Trade between India and Brazil has surged and touched $2.4 billion in
2006. They have also increased investments in each other's fast-growing
economies. Indian firms have focused on investments and joint ventures in
Brazil's pharmaceutical, IT and energy sectors while Brazilian companies
have targeted India's infrastructure, food processing and energy sectors.
The two countries aim to quadruple trade to $10 billion by 2010 and their
business leaders began a day-long parallel conference on Monday to explore
new opportunities. …” [Reuters (06/04)/Factiva]

AFP notes that “… New Delhi and Brasilia are the leaders of a group of 20
developing nations who want rich countries to cut farm subsidies in the
current round of World Trade Organization talks. The talks … have stalled
over allegations that rich countries have not cut subsidies and tariffs
enough to allow countries such as India and Brazil to get market access.

India and Brazil also make up the group of four, along with Germany and
Japan, seeking permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
After a visit last year by Singh to Brazil, ‘the bilateral relations have
been upgraded to a strategic partnership,’ India's foreign ministry said
in a statement.

The two countries, along with South Africa, formed the trilateral
India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA) in 2003 to promote the
interests of their emerging markets. The three strengthened their
relations further at the first summit last year. …” [Agence France Presse

EFE adds that “… On Tuesday, the last day of his visit, Lula will meet
with two business organizations and with the president of the governing
National Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, and he will wrap up his meetings in
a get-together with members of the Brazilian business community in India.
Lula and Singh will have occasion to meet again nine days later when both
attend the last day of the G8 summit in Germany, to which they have been
invited along with leaders from the world's other large emerging
economies, China, Mexico and South Africa.” [EFE News Agency

Briefly Noted

The World Bank's International Development Association has reduced support
for poverty alleviation programs in Uganda over concerns about huge
administrative costs and financial indiscipline, an official of the World
Bank has said. [Xinhua (China, 06/02)/Factiva]

Latin American governments must work together to fight enduring poverty,
crime and corruption, which are undermining democracy in parts of the
region, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a speech in Panama on
Sunday. [Reuters (06/04)/Factiva]

A regional insurance fund, partly financed by the World Bank, became
operational Friday to coincide with the start of the 2007 Hurricane
Season. The Bank said the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility
(CCRIF) is now fully operational and will provide participating
governments from the region with ‘immediate access to liquidity’ if hit by
a hurricane or earthquake. [Caribbean Media Corporation/BBC Monitoring
Americas (06/02)/Factiva]

The International Finance Corporation funded over $600 million in 30
Chinese projects during fiscal year 2007 from July 1 of 2006 to June 30 of
2007. The investment volume is similar to that of the fiscal year 2006,
which totaled $639 million in 24 projects from July 1 of 2005 to June 30
of 2006, IFC Executive Vice President, Lars Thunell said in Beijing on
Saturday. [Asia Pulse (Australia, 06/04)/Factiva]

The World Bank's lending to India will reach $3.8 billion in the 12 months
period ending June 30, making the country the single largest borrower from
the multilateral financial institution, World Bank Executive Director
Dhanendra Kumar told PTI. [Asia Pulse (Australia, 06/03)/Factiva]

The World Bank has pledged $37 million for an Avian Influenza program in
Bangladesh to fight bird flu, which has spread to dozens of farms since
March, the Bank said in a statement. The program would run from 2007 to
2012. There have been no known cases of people in Bangladesh being
infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus. [Reuters (06/04)/Factiva]

The Tajikistan Development Forum - organized under the auspices of the
World Bank - opened in Dushanbe on Saturday. Representatives from more
than 20 donor countries were expected to attend and discuss the social and
economic situation in Tajikistan, the government’s program of economic
reforms and poverty reduction in 2007-2009. [ITAR-TASS (Russia,

The EU will resume talks this month with Serbia on a Stabilization and
Association Agreement, which is seen as the first step toward full EU
membership, the EU announced in Berlin on Friday. [Xinhua (China,

A new PLO account set up to bypass an international boycott of Hamas has
begun disbursing vital foreign aid and is a key step toward restoring
relations between the Palestinians and donor countries, the Palestinian
Finance Minister Salam Fayyad said told The Associated Press on Sunday.
[The Associated Press (06/03)/Factiva]

A major conference to boost the private sector in war-torn Afghanistan
will be held in Kabul from Monday to Tuesday, with a focus on how this
sector can become an important catalyst for the development of the
country. The conference would be hosted by the Afghan government, the Aga
Khan Development Network (AKDN), in partnership with the World Bank, the
UN Development Program and the Asian Development Bank, said the statement,
which was issued by the AKDN. [Xinhua (06/03)/Factiva]

The melting of the planet's ice due to climate change will be the central
theme of World Environment Day, celebrated annually on June 5 and this
year hosted by Tromsoe in Norway. [Agence France Presse (06/03)/Factiva]

This summary is prepared by the External Affairs Department of the World
Bank. All material is taken directly from published and copyright wire
service stories and newspaper articles. The daily summary and other news
can be found on the World Bank's external website at For inquiries call 202 473-7660 or send a
written request to the News Bureau.

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