Britain hands over aid fund to World Bank



Britain announced the release of GBP 50 million ($99 million) aid contribution to the World Bank following settlement of dispute on conditions attached to aid for poor countries. Hillary Benn, United Kingdom?s Secretary of State for International Development froze contributions in September to protest the imposition of economic policy sanctions, trade liberalization, privatization of key industries and other conditions which do not reflect the priorities of beneficiary countries. “Until now, I had not seen the evidence to show that the Bank had made enough progress in implementing these changes,” Benn said in a statement. “But having now considered the report, received last month, it does show real progress, and that is why I have decided to release the 50 million pounds.” The fund is part of Britain?s GBP 1.43 billion ($2.8 billion) pledge to the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank. However, international development charity ActionAid criticize Britain’s move as premature, saying that despite bank reforms, “data is patchy and it is unclear whether conditions have become less intrusive and heavy-handed.”

Source : Britain releases funds to World Bank (AP), UK releases £50m for World Bank (BBC News), Britain to give 50 million pounds to the World Bank that had been frozen (AFP), U.K. to Release $98 Mln to World Bank After Lending Dispute (Bloomberg)

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